Uddhav Says Maharashtra May Ask for Central Manpower to Give Rest to Police, Quashes Rumour of Army Deployment

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday refuted speculation about the Army being called in to Mumbai, which has become a major coronavirus hotspot.

In a live webcast, he said additional manpower may be sought from the Union government if needed so that the state police force gets some respite.

Asking people not to believe rumours, Thackeray said the government might ask for additional manpower from the Centre, if needed, to enable the police personnel to take rest in a phased manner.

"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 a few of them have succumbed to the virus. They need rest," he said.

Thackeray also admitted that while the spread of the virus has been contained, the state has not succeeded in breaking the chain of infection yet.

Whether the lockdown will be extended or not after May 17 will depend on how far people maintain discipline and follow rules, he said.

"We have to come out of the lockdown one day or the other. We can't be living 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," Thackeray said.