Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope visits Kasturba hospital in Mumbai on Sunday. (Photo: Ganesh Shirsekar)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that the decision to lift the lockdown after April 14 will depend upon the compliance by people to the government directives of maintaining social distancing and staying inside their homes.
“The lockdown will end on April 14 and what is to be done afterwards depends on the people and how strictly people follow the government directives,” Thackeray said while addressing the state through social media platforms.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said that the state government was considering some relaxations in the ongoing lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 after April 14, when the nationwide lockdown comes to an end.
Earlier in the day, he had said the state government may not lift the lockdown on April 14 if people did not observe discipline and the number of COVID-19 cases kept rising.
Tope said the relaxations could take place in a phased manner and would be determined by the willingness of citizens to follow social distancing protocols and rules laid down by the state government.
Mumbai under lockdown. (Express Photo)
“People feel what will happen post April 14. The CM has just now said that post April 14 we are considering if some form of relaxation can be given in phases. That is possible only if we follow discipline,” Tope said.
Tope further said that 50 patients in the state had recovered from the infection. He also said that over 2,400 teams of health workers were now operating in containment zones set up across the state.
He said that there was no dearth of equipment for medical professionals and the state currently had 25,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) available, 2.5 lakh N95 masks and 25 lakh triple layered masks. He also said that 1,500 ventilators were available in government hospitals and another 2,000 ventilators would be available with private hospitals that are being empanelled.
Their remarks come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday, in a video interaction with the chief ministers of states, emphasised on the need of common but staggered exit strategy to lift the lockdown across the country.
“The states and Centre must formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of population once lockdown ends,” a government statement had quoted Modi telling the chief ministers. He also asked the states “to brainstorm and send suggestions for the exit strategy”.