Maharashtra lockdown may not end on May 31, says Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the lockdown may not be lifted on May 31 as the "multiplication of the virus" is picking up. Maharashtra is notably the worst-hit Indian state in the coronavirus outbreak. Thackeray also said that he has sought more time from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the resumption of domestic flights in the state.
'Cannot say that lockdown will be over by May 31'
Speaking on the lockdown, Thackeray said it was wrong to implement the lockdown suddenly and it would be wrong to lift it in one go. He said, "We cannot say that lockdown will be over by May 31. We will have to see how we will go forward. The coming time is crucial as the multiplication of the virus is picking up."
Maharashtra reports 47,000 COVID-19 cases; fight to get 'tougher'
As of Saturday, Maharashtra had reported 47,190 cases of COVID-19, including 1,577 deaths. Thackeray said the fight against COVID-19 is "going to be tougher," asserting that there is no need to panic since the state's health system is prepared. However, he warned, "In the rainy season, related ailments will be there too. So, we need to take extra precautions."
Asked Centre for more time to resume flights, says Thackeray
Speaking on the resumption of flights, Thackeray said, "Today morning, I spoke to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and requested him to give us some time to do preparations (to resume domestic air travel)." Last night, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted saying that it was "extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in the red zone," opposing the Centre's order allowing domestic passenger flights.
Thackeray also asked politicians not to politicize COVID-19
Thackeray also urged politicians to not politicize the pandemic, the Mirror reported. He said, "Some have criticized us for not giving (an economic) package. We will provide for everything, but right now the focus is on healthcare." Thackeray said the state's demands for trains to transport migrants have not been met and his government has spent Rs. 75 crore on buses to ferry migrants.
'Still haven't received GST dues; should I politicize that?'
Thackeray said, "The Centre is helping us. Sure, there are some issues like GST dues which we still haven't received. So should I start making a big deal by shouting from the rooftops about it? He added, "We haven't received money for the trains. Should I politicize that too? I will not resort to such politics."