MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope hinted that the 21 days lockdown can be extended if COVID-19 pandemic did not significantly get contained.
Rajesh Tope said that the COVID 19 positive cases and deaths are on rise. “We are putting all efforts to contain the spreading of coronavirus. People should cooperate and stay at home. If they did not follow the government’s social distancing and another guideline seriously, then they will not have any options but to extend the lockdown period,” Tope said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with various state Chief Ministers via video conferencing where the PM told that after 21 days of national lockdown, the respective state will take further decisions according to the ground situations.
"We are planning to lift the lockdown on April 15. We had no plan to extend it unless the central government takes the different decisions. But we will continue to lock the cluster and contaminated zones where COVID-19 positive patients are still coming up.
"As we slowly and gradually imposed the lockdown in Maharashtra, the same method will be used to lift it out to avert the chaos on-road and market," said a senior health official.
He said that there are possibilities of continuing lockdown in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur city but other locations particularly where COVID 19 cases are negligible or not reported that areas will be opened for daily routine.
Santosh Andhale, Mumbai based health expert said that the Maharashtra government should continue the lockdown for more period. "We should not take any risk. If we see the US and European countries like Italy, Spain, the death toll and positive cases are exploding every day. The virus is not yet gone. It is still active so there is better to continue the lockdown period," Andhale said.
On the other hand, the Maharashtra government has planned to train 1.25 doctors who will be specialised in COVID-19 positive patient treatment.
"We have also made 2,455 teams of health workers that have screened nine lakh people across the state. We have also started the rapid test where people can get the primary result of their symptoms," Tope said.