Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: With the number of coronavirus cases crossing the 19,000-mark in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday evening refuted speculation that Army will be called in control the COVID-19 crises in Mumbai.

Addressing a live webcast, Thackeray, however, said that the state may ask the Centre to send forces if necessary while conceding that Maharashtra has failed to break the chain of the dreadful infection.  

“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 few of them have succumbed to the virus. They need rest,” Thackeray said.

Catch all the LIVE updates on coronavirus pandemic here

He further said that the state may ask for "additional manpower" from the Union government, if needed, so that police personnel can take rest in a phased manner.

Expressing confidence that Maharashtra will win the fight against coronavirus, Thackeray said that every citizen of the state is a soldier who is fighting the novel infection.

While asking people not to believe in rumours, Thackeray said that relaxation of lockdown after May 17 depends on how far people maintain discipline and follow rules.

“We have to come out of the lockdown one day or the other. We can't be staying permanently like this. But to come out of this sooner, you need to follow rules and maintain discipline of social distancing and use face mask,” he said.

Also Read | Lockdown in Maharashtra may be extended till May end, hints Uddhav Thackeray: Report

He also expressed anguish at the death of migrant workers in Aurangabad district who were run over by a goods train, calling it very unfortunate.

He appealed migrant workers not to panic, and said the Maharashtra government was in touch with the Centre and had sought more trains to ferry migrants to their home states. Mumbai has adequate medical infrastructure for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Thackeray assured.

Though the number of coronavirus cases was rising, the number of patients who are recovering is also high, he pointed out.

If needed, medical facilities at the central government institutions in Mumbai will be used for isolation centers, the chief minister said.

Also Read | 'Need to learn to live with the virus and develop preventive measures as behavioral changes': Health Ministry

He also mentioned a viral video which showed patients being treated next to dead bodies at Sion Hospital in Mumbai.

"Such mismanagement will not be tolerated," he said.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma