More time needed to open up air travel in Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 25, 2020

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray   -  PTI

Lockdown cannot be lifted abruptly, next 15 days crucial, says CM

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in an address on Sunday said that more is time is needed for the opening of the aviation sector.

He said that he has spoken to Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and understands the need for opening up air travel, but more time is required for preparation.

A tweet from the Maharashtra CMO handle has said that Thackeray has communicated his views to the Union Aviation Minister that till the time Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) plans and finetunes airport operations, they should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25. The flight operations should be purely on an emergency basis such as international transfer passengers, medical emergencies and cases on compassionate grounds.

MIAL operates the Mumbai airport.

Lockdown monitoring

On the crucial issue of reopening of the State, Thackeray said it was not proper to impose the lockdown suddenly and now it can not be lifted abruptly, as it would be harmful to the people. The State government will have to study the situation carefully before moving ahead. The coming weeks are critical, as the virus will multiply, Thackeray said.

He said that the next 15 days would be crucial as the movement of people is expected to increase, which means more cases as well. Things can open up only gradually. “Today we have 7,000 beds, with most having access to oxygen supply, but by June this number will increase to about 15,000 beds. As the monsoon will start in a few days, please should avoid getting wet in rains as it leads to sickness,” he said.

Reining in of cases

He pointed out that the teams of Central government had predicted that by last week of May there would be about 1.25 lakh cases in Maharashtra, but today the situation is different. Across the State, there are only 33,786 cases and since the first day of the outbreak in Maharashtra, 47,190 cases have been recorded. But it is a matter of satisfaction that 13,404 people have gone home. There was a possibility of 1.25 lakh infections but it was stopped as people remained indoors.

He said that the next battle would be more serious and the number of patients is likely to increase, but appealed to people not to resort to panic since the State government is providing health services on a big scale. He said that the first field hospital in the country has been set up at Bandra Kurla complex.

He also asked the Muslim society not to come on the streets for Eid but stay at home and pray for the well-being of the whole world, which is affected by the pandemic.

Published on May 25, 2020

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