Following spiralling coronavirus positive cases, the Maharashtra government has taken a decision to extend the lockdown till April 30.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, after participating in the video conference chaired by PM Narendra Modi with all CMs, in his web address said: "We have no option but to extend the lockdown beyond April 14. It will go on till at least April 30. I am stressing on the phrase at least because it all depends on our social discipline and us not crowding areas like markets."
With today’s decision, Maharashtra joined the bandwagon with Telengana, Odisha, Punjab, and West Bengal in extending the lockdown beyond April 14.
Thackeray’s announcement came when Maharashtra's tally of Covid-19 cases shot up to 1761 in the day with 182 fresh cases being reported. The state has so far reported 127 deaths due to the infection while only 208 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery.
The CM further said, ‘’It is only then that we will be able to overcome the situation by April 30. We will grant relaxations in some areas, and also increase curbs in others to prevent transmission as there is no other option.’’
"The number of cases being detected now are definitely worrying but you will see wherever we find cases we seal the area completely. No one is allowed to go inside or come out. We are delivering essentials like bread, vegetables and medicines. The BMC is screening families in all areas that have been sealed," said Thackeray.
Thackeray at the outset clarified that he decided that instead of giving a free-run to rumours and speculations after today’s video-conference with the PM, it was better he spoke to the people of Maharashtra.
He added that complete lifting of the lockdown will depend upon how soon the chain of coronavirus transmission is broken in the most-affected state. Thackeray sent out a clear message not to play politics during the present crisis and instead fight it unitedly. "Let us not vitiate the atmosphere. I am imploring you all, let us not play politics here. Party politics must stop,’’ he noted.
‘’Hence, do not get confused, or panic. I know there are many restrictions. There are questions about till when the lockdown will continue. It all depends on us and the discipline we follow. It depends on how fast we break the transmission chain using our resolve,’’ said the chief minister.
According to Thackeray, on Monday, it will be 5 weeks since the first patient in Maharashtra was detected. ‘’This is a large timeline. We have managed to slow down the spread of the virus, but I want the number of cases to come to zero,’’ he said with resolve.
Thackeray said he will soon announce the strategy to deal with the migrants, agricultural and industry labourers, agriculture and industrial activities in the state during the extended lockdown.