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COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra under control, no need to panic: Health minister Rajesh Tope

Maharashtra is not yet ‘’mask free’’ but its use is not mandatory, clarifies CM at the state cabinet

Sanjay Jog | Updated on: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11:31 PM IST

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope | ANI
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope | ANI
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  • State cabinet reviewed the situation in the wake of Centre insisting on maintaining strict watch and take pre-emptive action to control emerging spread of infection

  • Active COVID 19 cases on Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar have increased

  • Maharashtra is not yet ‘’mask free’’ but its use is not mandatory, clarifies CM at the state cabinet

  • State government is keeping a close tab on the present situation and it will take the "right decision at the right time" based on the prevailing scenario

  • State cabinet presses for increasing the pace of vaccination of children from 12-15 and 15-18 age groups

Days after the Centre’s advisory to the Maharashtra to maintain strict watch and take pre-emptive action to control the emerging spread of infection, the state cabinet meeting chaired by CM Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday reviewed the surge in Covid cases and concluded that the situation is under control and there is no need to panic. The Centre’s advisory came at a time when 879 new cases were found between April 13 and April 20 in Maharashtra. The fatality rate continues to be 1.87 per cent while there are still 690 active patients in the state.

Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the state government was keeping tabs on the present situation and would take the “right decision at the right time”, based on the prevailing scenario. While wearing masks is not mandatory in Maharashtra, the minister urged senior citizens and persons with comorbidities to cover their faces when in public as a precaution. “Active Covid cases in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Ahmednagar have increased, while in Mumbai alone, 85 new cases have been reported. The CM clearly said at the state cabinet meeting that the state is not yet mask-free though its use is not mandatory,’’ said Tope.

The minister said that the state cabinet was unanimous that the pace of vaccination for children in the 12-15 age 15-18 years age bracket needed to be stepped up. He added that the district administration would be asked to step up their efforts in this regard. “A booster dose is not mandatory but those who want to go for it can do so after due examination in the private hospitals,” he clarified.

Tope said that the state government was strictly following protocols such as testing the close and distant contacts of Covid-infected persons. “We are keeping an eye on the situation. Cases are rising in Europe, China and to some extent, in Delhi. The Central government, the ICMR, our taskforce and the health department are keeping tabs. We will definitely take the right decision at the right time, depending on the prevailing situation,” he added.

Testing and surveillance still remained important to track the virus, its spread and evolution, Tope averred.

Tope’s statement came after the Centre advised Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Mizoram that laxity at any level would nullify the gains in pandemic management, adding that regular monitoring and follow-up action in emerging areas of concern was crucial.

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Published on: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11:31 PM IST