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COVID-19: Positive cases surge in Maharashtra but govt says no plan to shut down public transport

Many people earn their bread and butter by venturing out and therefore, it will be inappropriate to shut down the services, said CM Uddhav Thackeray.

Published: 17th March 2020 08:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2020 08:23 PM   |  A+A-

A passenger wearing a protective mask sits inside a train in Solapur. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Two more coronavirus-positive patients were detected in Maharashtra on Tuesday - one in Mumbai and another in Pimpri-Chinchwad taking total state count to 41.

On Tuesday, the state recorded its first death and the country its third as a 63-year-old man who succumbed to COVID-19. High blood pressure, pneumonia, inflammation of heart muscle and rise in heart rates lead to his death. He had returned from Dubai.   

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has clarified that his government is considering not to shut down public transport services. “Many people earn their bread and butter by venturing out. Therefore, it will be inappropriate to shut down the services. People should co-operate with government, otherwise, they will be left out with no options but to shut down these services,” said Thackeray.

Thackeray said that out of 40 coronavirus patients, one is only serious while the rest are fine. “Out of the 40 patients, 26 are male and 14 female. We will not impose any harsh decision on the public, but they should also be equally responsible. We are taking all precautionary measures to contain the outbreak of coronavirus,” Thackeray said.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said the government has no plan to shut down government offices and about half of the staffers in private companies can work alternately every day. “We want a minimum staff in offices so that they will not come into contact with many people. The social distancing is only solutions to prevent the spreading of coronavirus,” Tope said, adding, people should not venture out from home unnecessary. 

“One should go out if there is a need. Otherwise stay at home or isolated locations,” the health minister further said.

The state government is planning to release the prisoners with minor and moderate criminal charges. "Jails in the states are overcrowded with 38,000 people. As overcrowdedness is a major issue, the prisoners with minor and moderate charges will be released on regular or temporary," said home department official with the condition of anonymity. 

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