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Maharashtra govt cancels lockdown relaxation as COVID-19 cases surge

On Tuesday, Mumbai city alone recorded the highest 351 positive cases and 12 deaths.

Published: 21st April 2020 09:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2020 09:06 PM   |  A+A-

Vehicles wait in various lanes at the Vashi Toll Plaza during ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Navi Mumbai Monday April 20 2020. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: After the central government team paid a visit to Pune in the wake of growing coronavirus cases and death in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took action and cancelled the relaxation given earlier from April 20.

He has asked local authorities, particularly in Mumbai metropolitan region and Pune to take stringent measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The state of Maharashtra so far has recorded 5218 COVId-19 positive cases and 251 deaths. Out of it, the Mumbai metropolitan region that includes Thane, Navi Mumbai, Vasai Virar, Panvel, Kalyan, Dombivli etc has been worst affected with 4077 cases and 169 deaths.

On Tuesday, Mumbai city alone recorded the highest 351 positive cases and 12 deaths.

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"It has been noticed that people are not strictly following lockdown and social distancing norms. The violation can cause a rise in coronavirus patients therefore for the safety of the people the government has decided to cancel the permission of e-commerce companies selling electric and electronic goods. Only essential food and pharma will be allowed while no sweets or other snacks will be allowed to be sold in Pune and Mumbai metropolitan region particularly," the chief minister said.

The Union Home Ministery had expressed their displeasure to Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal over their preparedness and violation of lockdown. 

The central government had sent expert teams to these respective state to take the stock of ground reality. One such team visited Pune on Monday and likely to visit Mumbai and other parts of the city.

Udhav Thackeray said that construction activities will be allowed while the IT companies should continue to ask its employees to work from home. He has also asked the local administration to tighten the situation so that spreading of coronavirus can be contained at the source level.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that as a sigh of relief, the coronavirus patients doubling rate has been slowing down. "Earlier in the next two days, the coronavirus patients numbers were doubled but it has been taking seven to eight days to double. We want to bring down from seven to eight days to 25 to 28 days," said Tope.

Tope had also hinted to restart the wine shops by following certain social distancing guideline but excise department turned down this idea of starting liquor shop during the lockdown.

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