Maharashtra COVID-19 positive cases at 116, CM urges people to be home

  • Of the new cases, five were reported in Sangli and four in Mumbai
  • Mumbai Suburban train services have been suspended till month end to contain the spread

Kalpana Pathak
Updated25 Mar 2020, 04:02 PM IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (Photo: ANI)
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray (Photo: ANI)

Maharashtra on Wednesday reported nine fresh cases of Covid-19, taking the total in the state to 116 - the highest in the country.

Five cases were reported in Sangli and four in Mumbai. Patients in Mumbai were admitted to Kasturba Hospital.

To prevent the virus from spreading Maharashtra chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday urged citizens to remain indoors and practice social distancing.

In a video appeal today, Thackeray said, “I am at home listening to Mrs CM and you listen to your home minister. There is no need to panic as essential services are available.”

Though the Maharashtra government had announced a complete lock down in the state on Monday, many people came out of their homes on Tuesday morning, a day ahead of Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian new year. Police had to use force to send people back to their homes.

Mumbai Suburban train services — lifeline of financial capital — have already been suspended till March 31 to discourage people from travelling and ensure social distancing.

From midnight on Sunday, the Maharashtra state government imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits the assembly of more than 5 people in an area, across the state until 31 March. Appealing to the public to stay indoors and help the government in fighting the spread of the infection, the state also suspended all rail, private buses, state transport buses and metro services within its borders. No international flights will be allowed into Maharashtra. Villages have also blocked their borders.

"We have enough stock of essential commodities and food grains, do not worry. In any case, shops selling essential goods & services will not be shut. So, I appeal to you, “please do not panic," said Thackeray.

Encouraging people to see the positive side of the present situation, he said, "The positive out of this situation is we have more time to spend with our family which we all agree that we had lost on our way. This feeling of togetherness & spending time with parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren is inexplicable."

On Tuesday, a 65-year-old man passed away in Mumbai, taking the death toll in the city to three. India so far reported 11 deaths due to novel coronavirus infection.

A Pune-based couple, who were the first COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra, are set to be discharged from hospital on Wednesday, a health official said.

The couple and their daughter were part of a 40-member tourist group that returned to Mumbai from Dubai on March 1. They had travelled from Mumbai to Pune in a cab.

Maharashtra, with rest of the country is under lockdown till 14 April. The state government has sealed the borders and is prohibiting public movement except in case of emergencies.

Public transport services - including buses, suburban trains and metro rail - have also been suspended.

All shops and commercial establishments, including offices, factories, workshops, godowns etc are shut. However, pharmaceutical units, food and related units (dal and rice mills, dairies, feed and fodder units) have been asked to remain functional.

To prevent virus spread, Maharashtra chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has urged citizens to remain indoors. Mumbai Suburban train services — lifeline of financial capital — have been suspended till month end to encourage social distancing.

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First Published:25 Mar 2020, 04:02 PM IST
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