Lockdown in red zones in Maha to extend, hints Deshmukh

Anil Deshmukh hints coronavirus lockdown extension, says it will be CM Uddhav Thackeray's call

 The coronavirus-induced lockdown in red zones in Maharashtra could be extended beyond May 3 but the final decision will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said on Monday.

Maharashtra is worst-hit by the coronvirus pandemic. So far on Sunday, the state reported more than 8000 COVID-19 cases with 342 deaths.

"Going by the prevalence of the COVID-19 cases in some parts of the state such as in red zones, the lockdown may be extended in those areas. However, the final decision will be announced by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray," Deshmukh said.

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Deshmukh's statement came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked states to try to convert the COVID-19 challenge into opportunities through administrative reforms, and form their own policies on relaxing the lockdown based on ground realities.

A state government official said on Sunday that a total of 604 containment zones are active in Maharashtra.