Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who had earlier given officials till the end of the month to control the spread of coronavirus in the state, reiterated the need to resolve the crisis before monsoon sets in. He asked people of the state to trust him and said, if they did, Maharashtra would overcome the crisis.
"We have to bring this situation under control before monsoon arrives. We have to begin admissions and the academic session in June. We have discussed this and I have the figures. When we see the figures in April and May, it is scary. What are the figures in May? What will the figures be by the end of May? The figures are definitely something that is worrying. But I won't let the situation go out of hand. And I believe, till the time there is trust between you and me I have confidence that we will overcome this crisis," Mr Thackeray said.
Mumbai will not see any relaxations of the lockdown, and with a rising number of cases and the city's tally reaching 21,335, Mumbai will completely focus on reducing the number of cases, the Guardian Minister for Mumbai, Aslam Shaikh told NDTV.
The Chief Minister warned people not to step out of their homes in red zones like Mumbai, Pune and surrounding areas. He said people will have to be careful in the coming months even if there are relaxations. The lockdown till May 31 will be a speed-breaker for the virus and the city will have to tackle it before monsoons set in, the Chief Minister said.
Mumbai recorded 2,033 new cases on Monday; 23 of the 51 deaths in Maharashtra were reported from Mumbai the same day.
Outlining the need to recover and learn to live with the coronavirus, the Chief Minister said, "We have to learn to live with the virus, but will the virus allow us to live with it?"
"We have removed restrictions in green zones. Slowly shops are opening and permissions are being given. Before we restart anything we have decided that we must make people understand. Earlier we had given permissions and people went overboard and we had to shut them again," Mr Thackeray said.
"In some countries they have removed the lockdown, and people became complacent and they had to shut down everything again. We can't have that here. We have to do things slowly and once we restart something we have to ensure that it remains open. Whether it's markets, shops or even industry we have to do things carefully so that once we start something we don't have to stop it again," the Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, 8,437 people in Maharashtra have recovered, with the Mumbai Police announcing that 191 police personnel have also recovered, including Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhinash Kumar, who is in charge of Zone 3 that has areas like Worli, Byculla and Agripada. These places have a high concentration of cases.
Over 1,000 policemen across the state have been affected by COVID-19 as the police have been at the forefront of enforcing the lockdown. Policemen have been involved in logistics of sending migrant workers home, which puts them at risk.
The civic agency BMC has decided to redesign the containment zones in the city in order to make them more compact and easier to manage and ensure stricter vigilance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The larger areas will be managed by BMC and MLAs, while sealed buildings and chawls will be managed by the housing society itself. With these new rules, the containment zone numbers have come down from nearly 3,000 to 700 in the city.
The total number of sealed buildings stands at 1,271.
"Containment zones have been re-designed but we have never removed any patient who requires to be in containment. Containment redesign was for deployment of police. We have asked building authorities to take responsibility of not letting people go in and out. We had to move police to slums and other areas and hence have asked building management to help us," BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said.