'If citizens don't comply, Mumbai can be locked down', says Maha Public Health Min Rajesh Tope amidst coronavirus pandemic

Maharashtra Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday gave a stern warning to Mumbaikars. Tope said that if the citizens don't comply with advisories by state government to curb the novel coronavirus outbreak, a decision to lock down the city could soon be taken.

The Minister also said that there is an increasing chorus to suspend arrival of all international flights for next 10 days at Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur airports to contain the spread the deadly pandemic which has rocked the world, claiming 9,278 lives and 225,647 are infected globally so far.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the situation in the state is not critical, but worrisome. "Like in the days of the (1971) India-Pakistan War, the siren has been sounded. We all have to be alert and fight this global war. This virus is spreading step-by-step and Maharashtra has the highest number of affected," Thackeray said.

Saying that he had already spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Thackeray said that the Centre had assured all possible assistance to fight coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Centre has asked State governments to issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives /govt servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home.

All children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out. Railways and civil aviation shall suspend all concessional travel except for students, patients and divyang category, Centre said.

The State governments are also requested to enforce work for home for private sector employees except those working in emergency/essential services.

The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India stands at 167 (including 25 foreigners), 4 deaths (1 each) in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Free Press Journal