The Union Health Ministry on Saturday released a report on surge of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra which suggested that "COVID inappropriate behaviour" and enhanced aggregations due to recent gram panchayat elections, marriage season and crowded public transport are possible causes of hike in coronavirus cases in the state.
"While the exact causes of the surge are not known - since laxity in COVID behaviour is not specific to the state - the possible factors are COVID inappropriate behaviour due to lack of fear of disease, pandemic fatigue; miss outs and super spreaders; and enhanced aggregations due to recent gram panchayat elections, marriage season and opening of schools and crowded public transport," the report said.
The Health Ministry's COVID management assessment report also suggested that the virus is spreading to hitherto unaffected areas and most cases are asymptomatic.
It mentioned that people are not forthcoming when it comes to strictly following the quarantine norms or getting tested. "The sense is that the current wave is less virulent," it stated.
The report also suggested that the health machinery of the state may have become lax after cases came down after September 2020. "Some amongst the doctor fraternity - especially private - may not be counselling patients for testing or following protocols, dismissing it as flu. District/state-wise participative plan, engaging the community may yield better results rather than knee-jerk reactions. Revenue machinery needs to take full charge," it added.
Talking about the vaccination process, the health ministry said, "the state desires that while Centre may indicate total numbers to be vaccinated, actual vaccination implementation may be left to state with more flexibility in vaccination, the inclusion of private hospitals, time flexibility, and even data management." Maharashtra reported 10,216 new COVID-19 cases on Friday taking total cases in the state to 21,98,399. The state had 88,883 active cases till yesterday.