Amidst an increasing number of positive coronavirus cases, the Maharashtra government today announced the extension of lockdown in the state till April 30.
In a Twitter post, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “The lockdown will continue till April 30th. Instructions about examinations in schools, universities, allowing industries to be operational, will be given soon. I request you to not panic.”
As part of its address to the state, Thackeray in a series of tweets justified the reasons for extending the lockdown in the state.
“The numbers are rising and there is nothing to hide here. The first case was reported from Pune. Mumbai has a very busy airport with heavy international passengers, making it a doorway,” Thackeray said adding, “The rise in patients is of course worrying. But, keep in mind that we have sealed areas in Mumbai which have reported COVID +ve patients with curbs on entry and exit.”
According to the latest data, Maharashtra has the highest number of positive coronavirus cases in India at 1,574 with 110 deaths. Mumbai alone has reported 873 positive cases.
“By today morning, more than 33,000 tests have been conducted of these, 19,000 tests have been conducted in Mumbai, and 1,000 of those tested in Mumbai have been found COVID +ve,” the Chief Minister said.
However, he also added that 60 to 70 per cent are found COVID positive with mild symptoms, which is heartening and the government is also discharging those who have recovered and have found negative for the virus while in quarantine.
Urging people not to step out of their house until it is necessary, Thackeray said, “Wear masks if you have to and maintain social distance from the elderly even at home, take care of them.”
The Maharashtra Chief Minister also said he has appraised the Centre of the situation and that lockdown will be extended beyond April 14 as precautions are needed in Mumbai and Pune.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a video conference with chief ministers to get their feedback on the 21-day nationwide lockdown and their views on extending it further.
While many states have asked the Prime Minister to extend the lockdown for two more weeks, Punjab, Odisha and Haryana have already announced the extension of lockdown till April 30.
Thackeray also added agricultural activities, transportation and supply of essentials will not be affected by the lockdown.
The chief minister also hinted that the lockdown may be extended even beyond April 30 if there are no improvements in bringing down the number of coronavirus cases.
“We have no option but to extend the lockdown beyond April 14. This will go on till at least April 30. I am stressing on the word at least because it all depends on our social discipline and not crowding areas like markets,” he added.