Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that although the 21-day lockdown in the country, will end on 14th April, the lockdown may have to be extended in Mumbai and some other cities in Maharashtra. There is a hope that the number of cases in the country will start declining by the time the lockdown ends. But currently, the number of cases is on the rise. Health Minster Tope said that therefore, the future decision will depend on the situation at the end of the current lockdown.
67 new cases were reported from the state on Friday. 70 to 80 new cases are being reported from the state for four successive days. Therefore, the number of Coronavirus cases has doubled in the state, in the last four days, taking it near 500. Most of these cases are in Mumbai and the metropolitan region around it. Six patients died in the state on Friday. 4 out of these are from the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR). This takes the number of deaths in the state to 26. Maximum Coronavirus cases have been reported from Maharashtra and the maximum deaths are also in Maharashtra. Cases have also been located in one of the busiest and most densely populated areas like Dharavi, in Mumbai. As per the recent information, the patient from Dharavi, who died on Wednesday, had come in contact with people who had returned from the Tablighi Jamaat function in Delhi.
11 soldiers from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), deployed at the Mumbai airport, have tested positive for Coronavirus. All of them were staying in the CISF staff quarters at Panvel, in the MMR. One police constable, deployed at the Mumbai airport, also had tested positive for Coronavirus. Along with Mumbai, Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the cities of Pune, Nagpur, Jalgaon and Nagar.
Against this background, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has indicated that the lockdown in some cities may have to be extended. Health Minister Rajesh Tope said ‘It is hoped that the number of cases will be on a decline by the time the current lockdown ends. But as of now, the number of cases is increasing. The lockdown may not be completely withdrawn in a city like Mumbai after 14th April. The lockdown period may be extended by a few weeks. But the decision will be taken after assessing the situation and the number of cases.’
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with the Chief Ministers of all the states. He had suggested during the discussion ‘End of the lockdown in not the end of the fight against Coronavirus. Therefore, the state governments have to plan that the citizens don’t create crowds on the roads. The movement restrictions will have to be withdrawn in phases.’ The possibility of extension of lockdown, in cities like Mumbai, predicted by Health Minister Tope has to be viewed against this background.