'Lockdown is not lock-up': Uddhav Thackeray appeals to migrant workers to stay put after protests in Mumbai's Bandra
Stating that the highest number of coronavirus tests have probably been carried out in the state, Thackeray said between 20,00 - 22,000 tests have been carried out in Mumbai alone
In a live webcast address on Tuesday, Maharashtra chief minister appealed to migrant workers in the state to stay put and take up the challenge against the coronavirus, while also seeking to assure them that "lockdown" was not a "lock-up".
Hundreds of migrant workers had gathered at the suburban Bandra station earlier in the day, demanding for transport facilities to take them back to their towns and villages.
CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray addressing the State https://t.co/HXEtsr8eqL
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) April 14, 2020
"Today what happened in Bandra was unfortunate. It might have happened because they thought that trains will start from 14 April, and so they would be able to go back to their villages," he said.
Claiming that the migrant workers were being provided with all the facilities, Thackeray appealed them to face the "challenge" of coronavirus by staying back.
"Lockdown is not lock-up, do not worry," the chief minister said, assuring them that they were safe in the state and would be taken care of.
Stating that the highest number of coronavirus tests have probably been carried out in the state, Thackeray said between 20,00-22,000 tests have been carried out in Mumbai alone and between 10,000 to 15,000 tests have been carried out in the rest of the state till Tuesday morning.
He also said that 2,334 positive cases have been detected in the state and over 10 percent of these – around 230 persons have been cured and sent home while 32 people are in a critical condition.
The chief minister also said that Mumbai and Pune are emerging as coronavirus hotspots and testing capacity was being increased in the containment zones in these cities.
Listing the measures taken by the state government, Thackeray said that committees of ministers and experts were being formed to prepare for the revival of economic activities after the lockdown period.
Research and experiments for plasma treatment for COVID-19 is underway in the state and permission for the same had been sought from the Centre, he added.
He also said that 1.25 crore beneficiaries have availed of ration while 80,000 meals are being provided every day through the Shiv Bhojan scheme, adding that the state government was taking measures on all fronts.
Thackeray also thanked the "Bhim-sainiks" — followers of Dr Babsaheb Ambedkar for paying tribute from their homes and avoiding large gatherings as seen every year on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti.
He also thanked Prime Narendra Modi for extending the nationwide lockdown till 3 May.
Earlier in the day, Modi announced that the nationwide lockdown will be extended till 3 May and urged people to take seven steps to combat the disease.
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