Sunday, September 25, 2022

Maharashtra: Masks may become necessary as Covid outbreak continues, says Ajit Pawar, CM convenes meet

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Concerned about the rise of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, state Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Thursday that face masks would have to be made mandatory if the trend continued.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra reported 1,081 instances of COVID-19 infection, the biggest daily increase since February 24. The state has recorded 711 instances as of Tuesday. “The wearing of face masks will have to be made mandatory if the number of Coronavirus infections continues to climb,” Pawar stated during a press briefing here.

In response to the unexpected spike in cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called a meeting of the Covid-19 working committee on Thursday.

The Mask Mandate

“If COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Maharashtra, the state government will take a decision to make masks mandatory. The Government is keeping an eye. Discussions have been held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding the COVID-19 situation in the state,” Ajit Pawar said.

The Deputy Chief Minister highlighted that the state government has withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID-19 cases have reduced.

“We have withdrawn the liquor home delivery facility, as COVID cases have reduced. The facility was started as there were restrictions on movement due curtail the spread of COVID-19. Now, the situation is in control and so we have withdrawn the facility,” he said.

The increased number of COVID-affected patients, according to Pawar, is a cause for concern. He went on to say that the state administration is aware of the issue and is investigating it.

On seeing the increase in cases of the coronavirus in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have asked all hospitals and COVID centres in Mumbai to be ready to combat any further spread of the virus in the city. Additional commissioner Sanjeev Kumar said, “Yesterday, we had a meeting with all the hospitals and COVID centres in Mumbai. We request people to wear masks in crowded areas.”

The BMC officials say that all hospitals and COVID centres have been alerted after the meeting.

The testing for COVID-19 has been increased in Mumbai so that more and more people can get tested for the virus.

During the early stages of the epidemic, the World Health Organization praised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for successfully restricting the virus’s spread in the region where over six lakh people dwell.

Despite the constant rise in the incidence of infections, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has urged authorities to scale up testing on a war footing and to keep personnel at ‘jumbo’ Covid facilities on high alert.

“The new cases (reported) daily have gone up tremendously in Mumbai, and with monsoon round the corner, we will now see a rapid rise in symptomatic cases,” Chahal told BMC officials.

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