On Friday evening, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray put a halt to murmurs that the military might be roped in as the state combats the novel coronavirus outbreak.
"There is rumour about deployment of military. No need for that. We are all soldiers in fight against virus. Military will not be roped in," Thackeray assured.
He added that while the crisis was severe the "government is firm". He also said there was no need for an army and that the citizens of the state were capable of fighting the war against the deadly virus.
"There is a task force of doctors fighting war with force. You will decide the fate of lockdown," he said. He also appealed to Aayush doctors to join in war against the novel coronavirus. The Chief Minister said that if the rules of the lockdown were followed strictly, there would be no need for an extension of the same.
"People are not following discipline which is not good. It should be done. Physical and social distancing needed," he added.
On Friday Thackeray urged people with symptoms of cough, fever and cold to come forward and visit fever clinics.
"There are 18,000 positive cases but 3,500 have been discharged," he said.
In a virtual meet on Friday Thackeray also appealed to migrants to not endanger their lives and succumb to rumours. He added that the state was sending migrants with "proper care".
"Efforts are on to organize more trains," he said.
The Chief Minister also expressed anguish over the deaths of several workers in Aurangabad, and urged people to stop where they were. The migrants had incidentally been run over by a goods train earlier on Friday morning.
Thackeray also appeared to take a stern overview of another recent issue, where Mumbai’s BMC-run Sion Hospital had been accused of keeping dead bodies adjacent to other patients of the hospital. After a video began to circulate depicting least four bodies wrapped in black plastic on beds next to the patients, Dr Pramod Ingale, the dean of Sion hospital confirmed that the video was indeed of the hospital. he said that they did not have any other option as the relatives of deceased refused to claim the bodies.
Speaking on Friday, Uddhav Thackeray said that the government would not tolerate mismanagement in hospitals and added that delays will not be pardoned.
The Chief Minister said that while the green zones in the state were relaxed, and there was minimum restriction in the orange zones, there would be no relaxation in the red zones.
"No movement is possible there. Lockdown is a speed breaker. We have not yet cut the chain. We have to do it and end the virus spread," he added.
As Mumbai prepares for the onset of the monsoon season, the Chief Minister said that the number of quarantine facilities in Mumbai were being increased. "
Centre has accepted my request to use military, railways and MBPT hospitals. All govt machinery is working under severe stress and strain," he said.
At present Maharashtra has the highest number of cases in the state. According to data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's website, as of Friday evening the state has recorded 17974 positive cases. Of these, 3301 people have been 'cured' and discharged or have migrated, while 694 people have unfortunately passed away.
Within the state, the highest number of cases is in Mumbai which has so far recorded over 11,000 positive coronavirus cases and more than 400 deaths.