Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s address to the State today:
- I decided that instead of giving a free run to rumours and speculations after today’s video-conference with the Hon’ble PM, it is better I speak to you.
- I am remembering the lines from a Marathi song: The world is sleeping silently with the sky above it. But, here, everyone has lost sleep!
- The numbers are rising and there is nothing to hide here. The first case was reported from Pune. Mumbai has a very busy airport with heavy international passengers, making it a doorway.
- When we launched screening at the airport, we tested passengers coming from countries given by the Centre. But, some countries were not included in this list and passengers coming from them slipped through. Of course, this is not the time to debate this.
- We began by imposing prohibitory orders, and shut down malls and hotels, and gradually went in for a lockdown.
- The rise in patients is of course, worrying. But, keep in mind that we have sealed areas in Mumbai which have reported COVID +ve patients with curbs on entry and exit.
- I know this affects local residents initially. We are forced to do this. But, we are ensuring supply of essentials, medicines and milk. These areas have been quarantined.
The civic body has launched contact tracing, and is testing home-to-home instead of waiting for patients to report to us.
- By today morning, more than 33,000 tests have been conducted. Of these, 19,000 tests have been conducted in Mumbai, and 1,000 of those tested in Mumbai have been found COVID +ve.
- But, 60 to 70% are found COVID positive with mild symptoms, which is heartening. We are gradually discharging those who have recovered and have found negative for the virus while in quarantine.
- Unfortunately, the number of deaths is high. But, I will reiterate, those above 60 years, suffer from heart trouble, obesity, kidney problems, high blood pressure, are in the high-risk group. Many cases came to hospitals only when things got worse.
- I will stress that do not leave your house unless unnecessary, and wear masks if you have to. Maintain social distance from the elderly even at home, take care of them.
- On Monday, it will be 5 weeks since the first patient in Maharashtra, this is a large timeline. We have managed to slow down the spread of the virus, but I want the number of cases to come to ZERO.
The patients being detected now are those infected earlier and their contact cases. We are testing door-to-door and are finding asymptomatic patients. This means we are breaking the transmission chain. It will take time, as it is a global pandemic.
- In today’s video-conference, I got the first opportunity as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to voice my opinion.
- I appraised them of the situation and said we will extend the lockdown beyond the 14th as precautions are needed in Mumbai and Pune. We know the seriousness of the situation and we will do what needs to be done.
In this lockdown, we have not restricted agricultural activities and transportation and supply of essentials.
- Hence, do not get confused or panic. I know there are many restrictions. There are questions about till when the lockdown will continue. It all depends on us and the discipline we follow. It depends on how fast we break the transmission chain using our resolve.
The lockdown will continue till April 30. Instructions about examinations in universities and schools, allowing industries to be operatinal, will be given till April 14. Work on this is on.
- I thank you for showing confidence in the government and me. All CMs across party lines have joined hands keeping political differences aside. The States and Centres are working together.
- Let us not vitiate the atmosphere. I am imploring you all, let us not play politics here. Party politics must stop.
The atmosphere and unity shown in the PMs video-conferences will not just help us triumph over the Corona pandemic, but also emerge as a global superpower. After all, even America has to source medicines from us!
- Everyone is in a problem. I know these restrictions are tough, no one wants them. Even I am working from home. Those who can must work from home, if you haven’t started doing this, please do.
- We have no option but to extend the lockdown beyond April 14. This will go on till at least April 30. I am stressing on the word at least because it all depends on our social discipline and not crowding areas like markets.
- It is only then that we will be able to overcome the situation by the 30th. We will grant relaxations in some areas, and also increase curbs in others to prevent transmission as there is no option.
- You are all soldiers in this fight. You take precautions, we will take the responsibility. We will win this war. No battle can be won with a defeatist mindset. We have no option but to fight.
- I am hoping for your co-operation in this fight with the conviction that we will surely win this #WarAgainstVirus
- Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.