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Lockdown may not end on May 31, says Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra today said it is anticipating more coronavirus cases and needs “time to prepare” for the opening of the aviation sector. The lockdown, cannot be lifted even by May 31 — the deadline for lockdown4, said Chief Minisyter Uddhav Thackeray, whose state has 47,190 out of 1,31,868 coronavirus cases in the country.

“I spoke to the Aviation minister (Hardeep Singh Puri) . I understand the need for opening up air travel, but we need more time to prepare,” Uddhav Thackeray said during an address to the people of the state.

The next 15 days would be crucial, the Chief Minister said. “A lot of movement of people is expected, anticipating more cases as well. So things can open up only gradually. We won’t lift lockdown now. We can’t say that lockdown will be over by May 31… Need to be extra cautious during monsoon,” he added.

The resumption of domestic flights — announced by the Centre earlier this week — became a matter of uncertainty as Maharashtra indicated its unwillingness to go with the Centre’s plan. Though states cannot veto Centre’s plan to run open aviation, they can stop passengers from getting off aircraft.


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