Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that the flight operations in Maharashtra will not be able to resume as per the centre’s plan as the state needs more time to do preparations.

Thackeray said that on Sunday morning, he had spoken to civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and requested him to give some time to do preparations.

He further said that it is not possible for the state to revoke the lockdown post May 31, the expiry date of lockdown 4.0, and need to see how things will go forward.

“We can’t say that lockdown will be over by 31st May. We will have to see how we will go forward. The coming time is crucial as multiplication of virus is picking up. I want to assure the medical fraternity that we are with them in all ways,” he said.

Maharashtra CM further said that the next 15 days would be crucial.

“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

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh took to Twitter and said, “It’s extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate without swabs. Impossible to have autos, cabs and buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add COVID stress to red zone.”

“Getting passengers to come from a green zone to a red one putting them to risk of exposure doesn’t make sense. Keeping a busy airport up and running with all COVID-safety measures will need huge staff presence and compound risk in the red zone,”  said Deshmukh.

The state government on Saturday said that it hasn’t updated its May 19 lockdown order that says only special flights would be allowed, which suggests that it is reluctant to let people from outside enter the state amid lockdown.

Maharashtra reported 2,608 new coronavirus patients on Saturday, taking the total number of cases in the state to 47,190, a health department statement said. Sixty COVID-19-related deaths were also reported in the state during the day, taking the death count to 1,577.