Lockdown Needed, But Decision After Wednesday: Maharashtra Minister

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope was speaking to reporters after a virtual meeting of the COVID-19 task force chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss measures, including imposition of a lockdown in the state, to break the virus chain.

Lockdown Needed, But Decision After Wednesday: Maharashtra Minister

Decision on imposing a lockdown in Maharashtra will be taken after April 14: Rajesh Tope (File)

Mumbai:

An appropriate decision regarding imposing a lockdown in Maharashtra will be taken after April 14, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday.

He was speaking to reporters after a virtual meeting of the COVID-19 task force chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss measures, including imposition of a lockdown in the state, to break the virus chain.

"Duration of the lockdown and how to handle its economic fallout was discussed during today's meeting. The task force is of the view that the prevailing coronavirus situation in the state is such that a lockdown is required," the minister said.

A tweet from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said, "In a meeting with the State Task Force, the chief minister discussed the availability of oxygen & beds, use of Remdesivir, treatment protocols, increase in capacity of facilities, imposition of restrictions & fines for violating COVID protocols."

Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh, state Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte and others took part in the meeting.

Mr Thackeray is scheduled to hold consultations with the finance and other state departments on Monday and discussion will also take place in the cabinet meeting later this week.

Mr Tope also said that setting up of an oxygen generation plant in the state was also discussed during the task force meeting.

Mr Thackeray had on Saturday indicated the imposition of a strict lockdown in the state given the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases. He had held an all-party meeting held virtually to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Last Sunday, the state government had announced a slew of restrictions, including a weekend lockdown, night curfew and prohibitory orders for the day time. These restrictions will continue till April 30.