The lockdown period in Maharashtra will be extended beyond June 30, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday, adding more relaxations will be offered gradually in the state. Citing the continuous threat of coronavirus, Thackeray had earlier ruled out easing restrictions in Maharashtra. The unlock process, dubbed ‘Mission Begin Again’ is being gradually implemented to put the economy back on track, Thackeray said. On cancelling the Dahi Handi celebrations, the chief minister said it will not be cancelled but the celebration will happen in a different way.
Thackeray said that Dahi Handi is celebrated with much fanfare and with a lot of social gatherings every year. “We are here to keep the tradition but the celebration will happen in a different way. The mass gathering of people will not be allowed. The danger of COVID-19 has not yet ended,” he added.
Thackeray also said Maharashtra will be inaugurating a center for plasma therapy on Monday following which Maharashtra is likely to become the biggest state to conduct plasma therapy on a large scale.
"Tomorrow we will be inaugurating a center for plasma therapy after this it is likely that we will be the biggest state to conduct plasma therapy at this level. Those who got cured shall come forward and donate plasma to fight this pandemic. With plasma therapy nearly 90 per cent patients are getting cured," said Thackeray.
"Day after tomorrow we will be observing National Doctors' Day. They are fighting for us, I offer my gratitude to them. COVID-19 is not over yet, we will tackle this issue together," he added.
The Maharashtra chief minister also thanked the people, belonging to all religions for staying indoors amid the COVID-19 crisis while many festivals have passed.
"Soon we will have Ashadi Wari, I am attending this year's Wari. I will pray to God Vitthal to get us out of this pandemic. I want to thank all Dahi Handi organisers, they have canceled this year's Dahi Handi without even speaking about it to anybody," said CM Thackeray.
"I have also requested all Ganpati Utsav organisers that this time, as a part of social duty they shall keep their Ganpati idol height four feet only and make sure social distancing is being followed. During the meeting all the organisers assured to follow the government's directions," he added.