After entering self-quarantine, Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, on Monday, has tested negative for Coronavirus (COVID-19), as informed by Awhad himself. He added that as per protocol, he has self-quarantined himself as a precautionary measure after a Thane police officer who interacted with the minister tested positive. Taking to Twitter, Awhad asked all Maharashtra residents to follow the lockdown and expressed his inability to 'serve food packets to the poor', for the next 14 days.
The NCP MLA has been part of a major controversy when he had publicly opposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to light a lamp at 9 pm, lamenting that problems such as lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and fewer tests had not been addressed. Subsequently, a civil engineer in Thane posted a reportedly offensive social media post ridiculing Awhad for which he was allegedly beaten badly by security personnel and goons with lathis, belts and bamboo sticks. On Thursday, 5 security personnel at Awhad's bungalow were arrested by Thane police in connection with the incident and sent to 4-day police custody.
After PM Modi's conference with all state chief Ministers, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, on Saturday, announced that lockdown will be extended in Maharashtra at least till April 30. Moreover, he added that while it is possible for the government to lift the lockdown in certain places, lockdown in major areas like Mumbai will continue and on a stricter level. He warned people to maintain social distancing to avoid another extension of the lockdown. He has assured that essential services will function and essential commodities will be kept available to all citizens. The current tally of Maharashtra stands at 1985 with 149 deaths - Mumbai amount to over 1000.