Amid an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in India over the last few days, two of the worst-hit states in the country, Maharashtra and Delhi, have dismissed the idea of extension of the lockdown.
Issuing a clarification in response to the rumours of a complete lockdown in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said on Twitter on Friday (June 12), “The lockdown has not been reimposed. CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has appealed to the people to refrain from crowding. He has earnestly requested them to follow the Govt’s instructions and take necessary precautions to stay safe and take care.”
The lockdown has not been reimposed. CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has appealed to the people to refrain from crowding. He has earnestly requested them to follow the Govt's instructions and take necessary precautions to stay safe and take care.
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) June 12, 2020
Thackeray also said in a statement, “Some television news channels and social media platforms are speaking about lockdown being reimposed and closure of all shops. But the government has not taken any such decision,” according to The Indian Express.
He added that spreading such news would create confusion among the public and it should not be disseminated without verification.
“Forwarding such posts and telecasting news that create misunderstanding and spread rumours, is a crime,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
“We are easing lockdown restrictions in phases to restart the economy. But lifting of restrictions does not mean unnecessary crowding and violating discipline of physical distancing and hygiene,” he further explained.
Maharashtra has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, with a tally of 97,648 cases. Of this, 47,980 are active, and 3,590 deaths were confirmed.
Maharashtra constitutes 32 percent of the total number of positive cases in India.
Similarly, Delhi too has announced that the union territory would not be extending the lockdown.
“No, the lockdown will not be extended,” state health minister Satyendar Jain said in response to a query on the extension of the lockdown in Delhi.
With a total of 34,687 cases, Delhi is the third worst-hit state in the country, after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu (38,716).
However, it has the second highest number of active cases (20,871) while its death toll stands at 1,085.
India is currently the fourth worst-hit country in the world, with its positive cases tally heading towards the three lakh mark.