Coronavirus outbreak: Maharashtra extends lockdown as citizens brace for veggie shortage

Updated: Apr 12, 2020, 08:26 | Sherlin Rajan
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    With over 90 more cases of COVID-19 emerging in Maharashtra, the number of such patients in the state reached 1,666 on Saturday, the state health department said. So far, 110 persons have died due to the infection in the state. As many as 188 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery, officials said.

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    With 189 new COVID-19 cases being detected, the total number of coronavirus positive patients in Mumbai shot up to 1182, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the 18th day of the lockdown.

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    According to the civic body, eleven more people succumbed to the viral infection, taking the overall death toll to 75. 

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    With 1,035 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus cases in India soared to 7,447, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said.

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    With continuous spike in COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on Saturday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown period till April 30, hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray attended a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing from Mumbai.

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    In a live webcast, Thackeray said the lockdown, which was supposed to end on April 14, will be extended till April 30 in view of the lack of any other options. Explaining the broad contours of the plan, the CM said while restrictions would be eased in certain areas in the state during the extended period, they will become stricter in others.

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    The CM said he had conveyed this decision to the prime minister during the meeting of all the chief ministers. Before Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab had formally extended the lockdown period till April 30.

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    Thackeray said the decision regarding pending examinations, restarting of industrial units and the migrant workers stranded in the state will be announced before April 14.

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    He further said that the complete lifting of the lockdown will depend upon how soon the chain of the coronavirus transmission is broken in the most-affected state.

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    Meanwhile, the district administration in Maharashtra's Thane district has sealed the borders of Ambernath, Kulgaon-Badlapur, Murbad and Shahapur towns in light of the coronavirus outbreak, an official said on Saturday

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    With the entire country in a lockdown till April 14, the state is mulling to use TV and radio as mediums to continue learning for students from government schools using the DIKSHA App which allows offline learning with minimum internet usage.

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    The Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation has decided to impose stricter rules for social distancing. The Mira Bhayandar commissioner issued a circular to close vegetable markets for four days, from April 11 to April 14. 

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    Vashi's APMC shutdown until further notice from Friday has put Mumbaikars in a fix as they face the daunting task of where to get fresh vegetables and fruits. Shopkeepers and vendors also face losses as many claimed the police told them to shut shop from Friday itself.

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    Talking to mid-day, Minister for Cooperation and Marketing Balasaheb Patil said, "The supply of food grains and vegetables to cooperative housing societies through our Maharashtra Cooperative Development Corporation limited website has already started in Pune and adjoining areas. We are taking the best of efforts to start the same in the coming days in Mumbai too and instructions for the same have already been given to the concerned officials."

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    The BMC has directed private hospitals in the city to set up isolation wards to treat COVID-19 patients as well. Those who won't abide by the directive have to shut down. The civic body issued the instruction after seven hospitals had to be closed temporarily over the past couple of weeks when staffers tested positive.

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About The Gallery

With a continuous spike in COVID-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on the Saturday decided to
extend the ongoing lockdown period from April 14 till April 30. After APMC closure, Mira-Bhayandar civic body orders vegetable markets to be shut for four days from April 11 to April 14 (Pictures/Ashish Raje, Pardeep Dhivar, Satej Shinde, Bipin Kokate, Sayyed Sameer Abedi- mid-day photographers)