Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday made it clear that lockdown in the state won’t be lifted after June 30.
In an address to the people of the state, Thackeray said, “Lockdown won't be lifted after 30 June. Things won't be the same. We have been very careful in opening up things and are doing it slowly because the threat isn't over yet.”
“Please don't become carefree. If we behave that way, then coronavirus is awaiting us. Please don't leave homes if there is no urgent work. Locals have started working and in rural areas, movement has started. The farmers are working relentlessly. Marathwada, Vidarabha have raised several complaints about bogus seeds. It is unfortunate and strict action will be taken in this matter,” he said.
Maharashtra on Saturday reported 5,318 fresh infections and over 167 deaths, the highest single-day spike in the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities so far. The state has reported a total of 1,59,133 coronavirus cases.
Mumbai, the country's financial capital, is the worst hit, taking the city's total count to 73,747 with an addition of 1,460 fresh cases.
All annual festivals in the state this year are following the social distancing norms and being celebrated mostly from home. Acknowledging people for following orders to curb the virus spread, Thackeray said, “I want to thank people from all religions. Eid, Ramnavami, Ashadhi ekadashi, all the festivals are being celebrated at home. Wari is an annual affair for hundreds of years in the state. This year, we won't be able to celebrate it that way. I am going to seek Vitthal's blessings. I am going to go to Pandharpur as your representative. I seek your blessings. I want to thank dahi handi mandals. They have realised their social responsibility and have cancelled the celebrations.”
Requesting people to show the same constraint during the upcoming Ganeshotsav, the chief minister said, “The idols shouldn't be more than four feet. We will discuss and see how to celebrate.”
He also appealed to people to celebrate by showing social responsibility. “Please donate blood. We are the agile devotees of Ganesha. So will need to show awareness about health issues.”
In May, Maharashtra began the use of plasma therapy on an experimental basis to treat coronavirus patients. On Sunday, Thackeray said the treatment has shown great success and assured people that more centres with focus on plasma therapy would be opened across the state. “We have shown tremendous success in use of plasma therapy. We will be the first state to use maximum plasma therapy. Starting tomorrow, will dedicate more centres for this treatment,” he said.
Thackeray also appealed to recovered Covid-19 patients to step forward and contact government hospitals to donate their plasma.