Amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday refuted speculation that the state government is planning to deploy the Indian Army in Mumbai to handle the situation. He asked the people not to fall prey to such rumours. The financial capital of the country has become a major coronavirus hotspot.

In a live webcast, he said that an additional police force may be sought from the Central government if needed so that the state police force gets some respite. The chief minister said the government might ask for additional manpower from the Centre, if needed, to enable the police personnel to take rest in a phased manner.

“This doesn’t mean that Mumbai will be handed over to the Army. Police personnel are tired after working round-the-clock, some have fallen sick and a few of them have succumbed to the virus. They need rest. If any such decision is taken further, the public will be informed,” Thackeray said.

The Maharashtra government is making all necessary preparations to deal with the coronavirus COVID-19 infection. The state government has requested the infrastructure of military hospitals, railways and port trusts to stay prepared for help, said CM Thackeray.

He also admitted that while the spread of the virus has been contained, the state has not succeeded in breaking the chain of infection yet.

The total number of positive cases has increased to 19,063 in Maharashtra. During the last 24 hours, 1089 new cases have been reported in Maharashtra and 37 deaths. The total death toll now stands at 731. In Maharashtra today, 169 patients were discharged after recovery. So far, 3470 patients have been recovered and discharged in Maharashtra.
The number of positive patients in Mumbai has increased to 12,142. There have been 25 deaths from during the last 24 hours. The total deaths in Mumbai stand at 462 so far.

Speaking on the Aurangabad train mishap CM Thackeray said, “It really breaks my heart. These labourers were going home, and this accident happened. I request all the labourers to stay where they are and not to panic.”

To the migrant workers, he said, “We’re serving and taking care of five lakh labourers every day. We’ve started sending all the labourers to their native places. We’re sending everyone to their native places, the reason it’s taking time is because we don’t want to create havoc. Modes of transportation are trains and buses. Don’t believe in the rumours and don’t forward false messages.”

Lauding the corona warriors CM Thackeray said, “I really respect the doctors, cleaners, nurses, and especially the police department. Policemen are getting ill after providing their services and they’re on their toes for 24 hours and also they’re out there for us. Please respect them. No doctors and police should be harmed, if anyone caught doing that, strict actions will be taken. I request all the doctors–homoeopathic and Ayurvedic doctors to come ahead and let’s fight this disease together and we shall win. We all are together and let’s fight this out with all courage.”

Speaking on the tests he said, “I won’t say we’re leading in the testing process but we’ve tested almost 2.5 lakh people in Maharashtra of which 1 lakh are in Mumbai. The ones who’ve symptoms, I’d request them to please visit and take a test and don’t fear that process. Go ahead and do the test as it will be better for society.”

Asking people to follow protocols he said, “The more we’re careless the further lockdown will be extended. I request you all to not go out, adopt social distancing, wear masks and keep washing your hands.”

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the Mumbai Police is competent enough and all the rumours of Army being called in are false. “Mumbai Police is competent to handle any kind of emergent situation in light of the pandemic or otherwise,” Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh underlined. He added, “All these rumours of the Army being called in to handle the situation in Mumbai are false and agenda-driven.”

Deshmukh requested citizens not to trust rumours being shared on social media platforms. “Mumbai police has always been internationally respected for its high professional standards,” he reminded. He added, “The police have often been at the frontlines in our battle against COVID-19, ensuring law and order is maintained even in high-contagion areas and no one should create unnecessary questions about their commitment drive or work.”

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