Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that the lockdown announced last month to contain the coronavirus infection will extend at least till April 30. Some relaxation may be allowed later, he said, but it would depend on the behaviour of the people of the state.
“From April 14 till at least April 30, there will be a lockdown. Somewhere we can relax the lockdown but will tell you about it (later). It all depends on how you behave in the lockdown. Don’t crowd to get groceries,” he said in an address to the people of the state.
“Whoever can, please work from home,” he added.
Mr Thackeray was one of the 13 chief ministers who discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference whether the lockdown – scheduled to end on April 14 – should be extended.
The PM at the meeting indicated that the lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic would be extended by two weeks after considering the requests of the chief ministers, who preferred a longer containment period.
“I was asked to give opinion in the conference. I told the PM we will keep the lockdown even after April 14,” he said.
Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in the country with 1,574 coronavirus cases, including 110 deaths.
“The death rate here is a bit higher because of high risk patients, especially people aged 60 and above who have medical conditions,” he explained.
Listing the measures taken by his government to tackle the pandemic, Mr Thackeray said the authorities are aggressively pursuing those suspected of carrying the infection.
“We are sealing areas and declaring containment zones. We are providing them with essentials. Now we are not waiting for patients to come to us but going to them for tests. 19,000 people were tested in Mumbai alone,” he said.
Mr Thackeray said even during the lockdown, his government hasn’t halted agriculture and allied activities.
COVID-19 has killed 239 people in the country, with 40 new deaths reported since Friday. The total number of positive coronavirus cases is now 7,447.