Lockdown 4.0: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray addresses state, urges people to not take COVID-19 lightly

Updated: May 18, 2020, 22:03 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Maharashtra Chief minster Uddhav Thackeray addresses the state on COVID-19 situation, says lockdown extension is necessary to keep situation in control

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray

After taking oath as a Member of Legislative Council, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray addressed the state on Monday and said that the high number of coronavirus cases in the state has made it impossible to ease restrictions in the state.

Talking about Lockdown 4.0 which has been extended further till May 31, Uddhav said that his government has given permission for opening 50,000 industries. However, he also said that green zones across the state will see more action.  "We are slowly starting to open up green zones," Thackeray said.

Uddhav's address to the state comes a day after the Centre allowed the states to make their own decisions on the lockdown restrictions and relaxations. Speaking about migrant workers, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leader said that the state has already sent around five lakh labourers back to their native places by special trains and buses and the cost of travel has been taken care by the state government. Therefore, migrant labourers should stop walking, he appealed and wait for the state's help.

Focusing on breaking the chain of COVID-19 cases, Uddhav said that due to the lockdown, the state has managed to control the rise in coronavirus cases. "Although the state has not broken the chain, we are trying," the Chief Minster said.

The 59-year-old minister also said that the global pandemic needs to be tackled before the monsoon season begins as "schools and colleges will be scheduled to start again in June". Talking further, Uddhav Thackeray urged people to not take COVID-19 pandemic lightly and treat it as a "regular flu". He also said that he will not allow the cases to increase steeply in Maharashtra.

Appealing people to help healthcare workers the Chief Minister said, "We are concentrating on the rising cases and deaths in the state, but we must also consider the recoveries." Clarifying why lockdown has not been lifted in Maharashtra, Thackeray said, "If we allow industries to function and if their workers are found positive, then again we will have to go into a forced lockdown. Why not continue this lockdown only."

In order to revive the state's economy which has taken a hit due to the COVID-19 crisis, the CM said, "I welcome new investors in the state. Over 40,000 acre land has been kept aside for new businesses. We will provide the land to the new investor on a rental basis."

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