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Mask up: Uddhav Thackeray’s advice as Maharashtra sees Covid surge

by thesquadron.in
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Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said if the state government wants to avoid reimposing Covid-19 curbs then self-discipline, wearing of masks and vaccination against the virus are important. During a meeting with all districts of the state, he added that he will urge the Centre to make vaccination mandatory.

His statement comes hours after Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the state government may bring back the mask mandate at least in crowded places in wake of rising Covid-19 cases in parts of India. The health minister, however, said there is no need to panic as the active cases count of Maharashtra still stood below 1,000, while the number of cases per million was far less than in other states.

Tope told reporters that the general discussion in the Maharashtra health department is to bring back the mask mandate in crowded places.

He added that Maharashtra is currently carrying out as many as 25,000 tests on an average each day and this number along with tracking of Covid-19 contacts, will be increased. He added that genome sequencing will be ramped up, and so will the inoculation drive among children aged 12-17.

On April 1, Maharashtra lifted all Covid-19-related restrictions, including mandatory wearing of masks in public places. The government said that though masks are no longer compulsory, it should still be worn “for the health and safety of all”. Furthermore, mandatory vaccination to travel in public transport, visit restaurants or other public spaces were lifted.

“The decision has been taken after due deliberation and consultation with experts, members of the task force and central government,” Tope had said.

The move had come when cases across India declined significantly, even becoming less than 1,000.

Also Read | ‘Voluntary masking should be the way forward’

There, however, has been a sudden spike in single-day caseload in many states, including Maharashtra and Delhi. The national capital has already brought back the 500 penalty on not wearing masks in public places.

Maharashtra, meanwhile, logged as many as 186 fresh Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, up from 153 on Tuesday, according to the state health bulletin data. No fresh fatalities were reported, which is an improvement compared to the four lives lost on the preceding day. Mumbai too saw a rise in daily case tally from Tuesday’s 102 to 112 on Wednesday. With the latest numbers, the cumulative case tally of Maharashtra has reached 78,77,264.

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