New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday asserted that he won’t completely lift the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the state just to address the economic concerns. He emphasised that there was a need to strike a balance between the issues related to health and economy considering the challenge posed by the pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus in India May 15, 2021, LIVE Updates: Aircraft With Ventilators & Other Medical Aid Arrive From Kazakhstan

“I will never say that the lockdown will be lifted completely. But I have started reopening a few things gradually. Once reopened, it shouldn’t be shut again. Hence, I prefer taking steps in phases. You can’t just think about economy or health. There needs to be a balance between the two,” he said. Also Read - Cyclone Tauktae Likely To Turn Into ‘Very Severe Storm’, Warns IMD; NDRF Earmarks 53 Teams For 5 States

Thackeray made this statement in an interview published in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ on Saturday. Also Read - Maharashtra Reports 39,923 Fresh COVID-19 Cases, 53,249 Discharges in Last 24 Hours

The ongoing lockdown in the state will continue till July 31. From June onwards, the government had started lifting the restrictions in phase-wise manner under its ‘Mission Begin Again’ initiative.

“This pandemic is a global war. It has affected the entire world. Those countries which had lifted the lockdown in haste thinking that it was over, were again forced to impose it to curb the spread. In Australia, they had to rope in Army,” he said.

“Many people are opposing lockdown. They say that lockdown is affecting the economy. To such people, I would say that I am ready to lift the lockdown, but if people die due to it, would you take the responsibility?…Even we are concerned about the economy,” he said.

On the restarting of the suburban railway network in Mumbai, he said, “What if families fall ill and their houses are sealed? Therefore, everything would be done step-by-step.”

(With agency inputs)