Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the railways and buses in Mumbai cannot be stopped amidst the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the 10,048 lives and infected 246,005 globally.
He said that the lower-income groups and those working in the health and other important sectors travel through the local trains and buses, and hence, noted that the life-line of Mumbai, its local trains, and buses cannot be stopped.
The Chief Minister said that the next 15 days are extremely crucial in the fight against the pandemic. He added that all the offices and shops in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur will be shut down from midnight of March 20 till March 31. However, he said that the essential commodities like medicines, milk, ration shops and banks will remain open during the period.
Uddhav said that only 25 per cent government employees will be asked to come at work. Also, making a stern statement, he told the private companies, "If work from home is not possible, shut the offices down."
Thackeray noted that the district collectors have been given full responsiblities to enact strict measures.
Meanwhile, 52 patients have tested positive in the state. However, Uddhav said that 5 of these patients have recovered but will remain in isolation for the next 14 days.
Earlier on Thursday, Uddhav said, "The situation in Maharashtra isn't critical, but certainly 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 added.