NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday (April 13) said that the coronavirus COVID-19 situation in the state is grim and announced a 15-day long statewide curfew starting at 8pm on April 14 amid the massive spike in coronavirus cases in the state. In his address today, the Chief Minister said that Maharashtra is facing a shortage of oxygen and beds and the demand of for Remdesivir has increased in the state. CM Uddhav, however, refrained from terming the new curbs as a lockdown.
"We are imposing strict restrictions which will come into effect from 8 pm from April 15. Section 144 to be imposed in the entire state from tomorrow and all essential services will remain exempted. I will not term this as lockdown," CM Uddhav Thackeray announced as Maharashtra struggles with a record spike in coronavirus infections and deaths.
"Mumbai suburban trains and city buses will continue to run, but commutes will be permitted for those in the designated essential services," he said. "From tomorrow 8 pm, Section 144 will be imposed across Maharashtra.. From 7 am-8 pm only essential services shall remain open. This is imperative to break the chain of the virus. Saving lives is our topmost priority," Thackeray said
Maharashtra medical system under stress
The Maharashtra Chief Minister stated that the situation is much worse than last year and that the state's medical system is under stress. "We are continuously upgrading our healthcare infrastructure but they are under pressure. There is a shortage of medical oxygen, beds and the demand for Remdesivir has also increased," CM Uddhav said. "The war against coronavirus has begun once again," he said. There is a severe strain on Maharashtra's health infrastructure due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, he added.
CM Uddhav seeks help from Centre, IAF
CM Uddhav said the Centre should help supply oxygen for coronavirus patients in the state by using Air Force planes. "I will speak to the Prime Minister to request him to provide us IAF assistance in the supply of oxygen for medical use from nearby states," CM Uddhav said during his briefing.
The Maharashtra CM appealed to doctors, retired nurses, healthcare workers to come forward and fight the battle against COVID-19. "I am requesting NGOs, newly-appointed doctors and others to come and help us. We will win this battle against coronavirus," he said.
The state government will provide three kg wheat and two kg rice free for the next one month to every poor and needy person while the coronavirus-induced restrictions are in place, Thackeray said.