- Maharashtra has highest number of COVID-19 patients in country
- "Will take a call on what to do after 30": Uddhav Thackeray
- Over 7,600 confirmed cases in Maharashtra, 323 deaths
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today said "80 per cent patients of coronavirus were asymptomatic" in his state – which has the largest number of COVID-19 patients in the country. Maharashtra currently has 7,628 cases -- more than a quarter of over 26,000 cases in the country. A chunk of them are from Mumbai, the country's financial capital.
The Chief Minister said his state will take a decision on extending the lockdown by the end of this month.
"We will take a call on what to do after the 30th," Mr Thackeray said. For now, he said, "We are restarting some things. I am going to study (the plan) it this evening. We have to see how we return to normalcy slowly".
Giving examples of urgent requirements, he said, "Doctors should start their clinics. Dialysis centers should be started".
Meanwhile, he asked the people to have patience, saying without lockdown, there is "no other choice" at the moment.
"It is not like the coronavirus is suddenly going away. There is no proof of her immunity. We have to keep the high risk group safe," he said. "You have to wear masks. We cannot create crowds. You should exercise at home. If you see symptoms please go to a fever clinic. Do not ignore symptoms and self-medicate," he said, reading out the rulebook.
The countrywide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, is expected to be in place at least till May 3. But late on Friday evening, the home ministry passed an order, allowing standalone shops in non-hotspot areas to open.
The final call, however, has been left to the states. They can take a decision on the basis of the ground situation, the Centre has said.
Referring to the delicate task of lifting the lockdown without allowing a surge of the virus, Mr Thackeray said the next three or four months "are going to be very important".
"The responsibility of this state is with us. This is a patience game. We have to destroy the virus completely," he said.