Maharashtra CM to meet task force before deciding on lockdown

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday indicated imposition of lockdown in the state and will hold a meeting with the task force on Sunday before taking a decision.

The Chief Minister, who convened an all-party meeting on the coronavirus pandemic, said the first priority is saving lives.

“If we have to stop the menace of COVID, we may have to put some strict restrictions even if it’s for a short duration. Our first priority should be saving lives. If it’s a health emergency then the health and life of people should be the top priority,” he said.

“Last year during lockdown people were at home so it wasn’t difficult to trace infection. Now everything is open, it is practically very difficult to trace people. The Centre must understand this,” he added.

Thackeray said he has been speaking to many people from different sectors and also private hospitals for the last few days. “All are ready to support the government,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that suggestions given by the leaders at the meeting will be considered and issues like availability of oxygen and Remdisivir will be taken care of.

No formal decision on a lockdown was reached at the all-party meeting.

Congress leader Ashok Chavan said that a lockdown of a few days is necessary and then relaxations can be given.

“The Chief Minister will hold a meeting with the state COVID task force on Sunday. There should be a balance when imposing restrictions to prevent coronavirus and necessary factors should also be considered while imposing restrictions,” he added.

Chavan said that number of patients will increase as Maharashtra increases the number of tests.

NCP leader Nawab Malik said the healthcare system is likely to face more pressure in the coming days with rising COVID-19 cases.

“Chief Minister will hold a meeting with task force tomorrow, after which, further decision will be taken.”

Congress leader Aslam Shaikh, who is also a minister, said the meeting was held to discuss all possibilities to contain the pandemic.

“Government is trying to avoid lockdown hence stringent measures were enforced including weekend lockdown. But it seems to have no effect on new COVID-19 cases,” he said.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, state Congress president Nana Patole were among those who attended the meeting.

Maharashtra government has imposed a strict weekend lockdown from Friday night till 7 am on Monday.

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