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After Uddhav Thackeray's hints, MHA extends lockdown

Maharashtra has 14 Red Zone districts - the second highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh's 19

Friday May 1, 2020 8:14 PM, IANS

Maharashtra Lockdown Extension News

Mumbai: Hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's indications that lockdown from the Red Zones of Mumbai and Pune may not be lifted, the Centre issued an order extending the shutdown by another two weeks on Friday.

As per an earlier notification, Maharashtra has 14 Red Zone districts - the second highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh's 19.

These include: Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Pune, Thane, Palghar, Nashik, Nagpur, Solapur, Yavatmal, Aurangabad, Satara, Dhule, Akola, Jalgaon.

Another 16 districts fall in the Orange Zone and only 6 are in the Green Zone.

The Mumbai-Pune belt - which is the country's biggest industrial belt - runs through six districts including Mumbai and Mumbai Suburban, Thane, parts of Palghar and Raigad and Pune, all in the Red Zone except Raigad which is in Orange Zone.

"The question is being asked, ‘What after May 3?' I want to make it clear that we cannot lift the lockdown from Red Zones like the Mumbai-Pune belt, parts of Nagpur and other areas in the state," Thackeray said.

He was speaking in a web-address to the state on the occasion of Maharashtra's 60th anniversary or the Diamond Jubilee of its founding, and May Day this afternoon.

Thackeray said that the government has marked and mapped places on the basis of Red, Orange and Green zones.

"In the Green Zones, economic activities can resume gradually, in Orange Zones, barring the affected areas, commercial activities would be allowed to start slowly but with full precautions, but not in the Red Zones," the CM asserted.

"I am aware that people are facing hardships during lockdown. There are also economic losses, but the real wealth is health. If you are safe, then all is well," Thackeray said.

'Corona Syndrome'

He said lockdown was necessary as it acts like a ‘circuit-breaker' - as described by the Singapore Prime Minister. The CM said the situation we could have faced without lockdown could well be imagined.

Thackeray urged the people to emerge from what he described as the ‘Corona Syndrome'.

"I have been saying this repeatedly corona is curable. We have cured infants to senior citizens as old as 85-plus. You must come forward. Don't worry if you have problems, but approach us in time," he exhorted.

He warned that while restrictions shall be lifted gradually, if there is overcrowding, then the relaxations would be withdrawn, since the state could forfeit whatever it has gained in the lockdown since March 25.

"We are also working out with other states on how to send back migrants in a smooth and systematic manner, but if there are crowds, we shall rethink on it," he cautioned.

The state is under a lockdown from March 25 to May 3, which has now been extended by another two weeks, in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 continues its deadly prowl in the state with 459 casualties and nearly 10,500 cases till date, with Mumbai being the country's hotspot with 290 deaths followed by Pune's 96 victims.

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