Maharashtra: Minister warns of reintroducing mask rule if cases rise
In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra's Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday the mandatory mask rule will be reinstated if infections continue to surge. "If COVID-19 cases continue to rise, then we will have to make the wearing of masks compulsory. Our aim is to speed up vaccination...will take all possible steps to ensure the vaccination of children," he reportedly said.
Why does this story matter?
With the daily COVID-19 cases rising, several states have decided to reintroduce the mask mandate, urging people to adhere to COVID-19-appropriate behavior. After an alarming third wave-driven surge peaked in January and the daily tally went down over the last two months, COVID-19-related curbs were relaxed. Kerala became the latest state to reinstate the rule of mandatory wearing masks in public places on Wednesday.
Thackeray asks people to adhere to COVID-19-appropriate behavior
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday urged people to wear masks when going outside and follow COVID-19-appropriate behavior. He stressed the importance of taking precautions to avert the threat of a fourth wave. Saying the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't yet over, he added, "We need to arrest the spread of infection while it is at the doorstep," while also referring to Chinese cities under lockdown.
CM's appeal came after COVID-19 review meeting
Thackeray made the appeal to the public on Wednesday after chairing a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation. It was attended by several top officials, including divisional commissioners, municipal commissioners, Zilla Parishad CEOs, and police officers.
What is the current COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra?
Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of cases among Indian states so far—at over 78.7 lakh cases—but its daily COVID-19 tally has been lower than 200 since March. Maharashtra reported 155 new cases and one death on Sunday. As per the state health department, the total infection tally has climbed to 78,77,732, and the death toll to 1,47,843. Maharashtra currently has 998 active cases.
India reported over 3,300 new cases
Meanwhile, India reported a total of 3,324 new cases and 40 COVID-19-related fatalities on Sunday. In the past 24 hours, the country's active COVID-19 caseload witnessed a rise of 408 cases to 19,092. The active cases currently account for 0.04% of the total cases recorded so far in the country. Meanwhile, India's recovery rate stood at 98.74%.