After rumour mills were set into motion about the Maharasthra government reimposing a new lockdown in the view of rapidly increasing COVID-19 infections, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray clarified on Friday no such decision has been made by his administration.
He urged citizens to strictly adhere to existing coronavirus related restrictions to keep the spread of the disease in check. Social Media platforms were buzzing with speculation that the lockdown may be imposed again in Maharashtra, which is the worst coronavirus-hit state in the country.
On Friday, in response to these concerns, Thackeray’s office issued a statement, making it clear that no such decision had been made by the state government.
“There are rumours being spread through social media and reports on some channels that the state government has taken a decision to impose lockdown by shutting down all the shops and commercial establishments. We have not taken any such decision,” the statement said.
“Any such reports create confusion among the people. Spreading such false news is violation of the law and should not be transmitted without confirmation.”
On Wednesday, however, Thackeray warned that though there was no decision on a new lockdown, the government may be forced to impose one if people don't strictly follow COVID-19 related restrictions.
He reminded that the pandemic was far from over but the economy cannot suffer more due to the lockdown. He also expressed shock over the large crowd on the first day of "unlock."
“Outdoor physical activities are permitted for your good health and not to spoil it. People will have to keep physical distance. The government is evaluating the situation. If we feel that the lifting of lockdown is life-threatening, then we will be forced to impose the lockdown again.”
He said that the end of the lockdown did not mean "people are allowed to step out, leading to crowding at public places [that] could prove hazardous for health."