“I understand the need for opening up air travel, but we need more time to prepare,” Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said.
Mumbai| Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government today said it is predicting more COVID-19 cases and demands “time to prepare” for the reopening of the air travel sector.
The lockdown cannot be lifted even by May 31, said Chief Minister.
The next 15 days would be crucial, Mr Thackeray 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.
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said he has requested the Centre to give the state some more time to resume domestic air travel.
There is no change in policy as of now and the lockdown remains the same till May 31, maha government said.
The government has said that the Central government “arbitrarily” made the decision to permit domestic flight operations and there was no consultation with the state.
Maharashtra needs time to decide on the Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) over air travel, the state government said.
Maharashtra added that “outside airport, everything becomes state government’s responsibility”.
Accordingly, the state has decided to wait for a discussion with the Central government before changing lockdown rules for air travel.
Maharashtra, the worst affected state, has 47,190 out of 1,31,868 COVID-19 cases in the nation.
The state currently has 33,786 active cases, while 13,404 patients have recovered. So far, more than 3 lakh tests have been conducted in the state, said Thackeray.
CM said that there is no decision to start flight operations from Monday in the state.