Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the state government will not lift the lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus after June 30, PTI reported. However, the chief minister said that restrictions will continue to be eased slowly, and asked people to follow rules.
“Lockdown will not be lifted after June 30 as the risk of infection is not over yet,” Thackeray said in an address, according to Hindustan Times. “We are extending relaxations step by step.” Thackeray also warned that easing of restrictions will lead to a surge in the number of cases.
“We cannot leave this war halfway in this final phase,” Thackeray said, according to NDTV. “The crisis is not over yet. I am sure that you will continue to co-operate with the government to ensure that the lockdown is not reimposed.”
Maharashtra has by far the highest number of infections in the country. As of Sunday afternoon, 1,59,133 infections had been detected, and 7,273 people had died. Mumbai is the second-worst affected city in India with over 74,252 infections.
On Saturday, Maharashtra reported its highest single-day increase with 5,318 cases.
Thackeray claimed that the Maharashtra government’s approach in dealing with Covid-19 was at par with all developed countries. “For instance, when it comes to medicines, we have been using all medicines from Dexamethasone to Remdesivir as well as therapies like plasma therapy,” Thackeray said. “But for using medicines like Remdesivir, we need Centre’s approval. We had sought approval at the end of April and got it only last week.”
Earlier this month, under its “Mission Begin Again”, the state allowed people to go out for exercise. Last week, Maharashtra permitted salons, spas and barbershops to reopen from Sunday, subject to restrictions. However, hospitality services in the state remain restricted to take away and deliveries of food items. Mumbai local trains have not yet been allowed to operate, and only essential public transport has been permitted to function.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police asked citizens not to venture beyond a 2 km radius from their homes, except for attending office or medical emergencies, PTI reported. Vehicles that move beyond this radius for non-essential work will be impounded, they said.
“While moving outdoors, wearing of face mask is compulsory and if people are going to visit markets, salons, barber shops, it shall be restricted to within a radius of two km from residence,” a police officer said. He warned that strict action will be taken against those who violate social distancing norms.