Maharashtra may extend lockdown to end of May, hints CM Uddhav Thackeray | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, while addressing an all-party leaders’ meeting via video conference on Thursday, indicated that the lockdown may be extended till the end of May in the state’s red zones, especially the Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions which have contributed 90% of Maharashtra’s cases so far. The extended lockdown is set to end on May 17.
Leaders cutting across party lines gave suggestions to the government in the meeting on how the situation could be handled more effectively. BJP’s Praveen Darekar, leader of opposition in the legislative council, and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi leader Prakash Ambedkar said the CM wanted the lockdown extended.
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Among the suggestions made was one by MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who said SRPF platoons should be deployed in containment areas especially in Mumbai. Some other leaders spoke of stranded migrants and of the lack of coordination in administration which had resulted in flipflops such as revised orders on the opening of liquor and standalone shops.
Ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis said the situation in Mumbai was grim and took up the issue of bodies lying in Sion hospital next to patients admitted in the Covid-19 ward. He said the move to open liquor shops in Mumbai had not been right. “Asymptomatic patients should be tested. The state should announce a fiscal package to revive the industrial sector. Plans to restart the economy should be worked out now,” he said.
Kapil Patil of Lok Bharati said all indications were that the lockdown would continue till the end of the month at least in MMR and PMR. “I raised the issue of lack of availability of beds. Even policemen are finding it difficult to get beds. Also, self-employed people like plumbers and maids should be allowed to work,” he said.
Raj left early after his submission. He was the only leader in the meeting who did not wear a mask. Raj said the state “should announce its exit plan 10-15 days in advance so people are aware of what is allowed and from when. This will avoid confusion like we saw in the past few days. The crowds during Eid should be controlled.”
Hitendra Thakur, BVA MLA, suggested 2-3 local trains be run on all three railway lines in the mornings and evenings to transport frontline workers.
The CM in his statement said the suggestions have been noted.
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