MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray onThursday asked people not to panic over the coronavirus situation in state, adding the next eight days are crucial and people need to remain cautious.
Making a statement in the Legislative Assembly, Thackeray also informed the House that the state government is taking all steps for prevention of the "coronavirus epidemic".
In Maharashtra, of the 167 travelers quarantined since January upon landing at the Mumbai airport, only nine are currently admitted to isolation wards. The state has not reported any confirmed case of virus infection.
Appealing people to avoid going to crowded places if not necessary and limit the Holi celebrations, Thackeray said, "I pray the coronavirus gets burnt in the Holi fire."
"I want to tell people that the next eight days are crucial and we have to remain cautious," he said.
Asking people not to panic over the coronavirus, he also assured that the government was taking all steps to prevent the spread of the viral infection.
The chief minister said he is reviewing the situation on a daily basis since the last one month.
"We need to tackle the crisiseffectively without getting scared and panicked," he said. "If we get scared, we may end up committing avoidable mistakes," he added.
Testing facilities have been put in place in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune, he said.
"There is enough stock of masks. We need to see if the vacant Seven Hills hospital in Mumbai can be used for quarantine facilities," Thackeray said.
The chief minister said he has instructed authorities to providemasks and required clothing to cleaning staff of international flights when they land in different airports of the state.
Hotel managements have also been instructed to check if foreign tourists coming to their hotels have undergone thermal screening, he said.
"I have also instructed the Information and Publicity department to issueadvertisementsfor mass awareness at railway and bus stations regarding precautions to be taken," he said.
Thackeray said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided not to celebrate Holi in the backdrop of the coronavirus situation in India.
"When there was an outbreak of swine flu, the dahi handi celebrations were cancelled. I pray that the coronavirus epidemic gets burnt in the Holi fire. I want to tell people that the next eight days are crucial and we have to remain cautious," he said.