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    HomeBusinessWearing mask is not mandatory, but advised: Maharashtra health minister

    Wearing mask is not mandatory, but advised: Maharashtra health minister

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    There has been some increase in positive cases in limited cluster areas like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, and Palghar districts, leading to the hike in India’s active cases, says Health Minister Rajesh Tope

    Topics
    Maharashtra | Coronavirus

    BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

    With some cities of Maharashtra witnessing a rise in Covid cases, the state’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope said masks should be worn in closed spaces like buses, schools, railways, and offices.

    “Masks should be worn in closed spaces like buses, schools, railways, and offices. This is not mandatory, therefore no fine is imposed. But I appeal to the Maharashtra public to wear masks,” said Tope.

    “There has been some increase in positive cases in limited cluster areas like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, and Palghar districts, leading to the hike in India’s active cases. Thus, we appeal to the public to wear masks in areas of surge,” said Tope.

    The Maharashtra health department on Friday asked district and civic authorities to ramp up coronavirus testing as the numbers of samples being examined had fallen while cases were rising.

    In a letter to collectors, municipal corporations and chief executive officers, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Pradeep Vyas said all districts should ensure the proportion of RT-PCR tests was at least 60 per cent.

    In view of rising cases, it said people should be advised to wear masks in closed public spaces like trains, buses, cinemas, auditoriums, offices, hospitals, colleges and schools.

    “The state government has also asked all district collectors and municipal commissioners to accelerate testing and vaccination. The authorities should monitor whether people are wearing masks at designated places,” Tope said.

    Maharashtra on Friday recorded 1,134 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily rise in cases since February 24, and three deaths. The tally of active cases rose 12 per cent to 5,127.

    “Testing in the state has considerably reduced despite repeated instructions. As per the June 1 data, there has been gross shortfall in the number of weekly tests conducted in 26 districts which is a major cause of concern. Overall testing in all districts should be increased immediately,” the letter said.

    The ACS (Health) said the state had last week reported BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, and while there were no complications associated with these cases, one must not get complacent.

    Vyas also asked officials to carry out periodic analysis of new cases with respect to time, place and person so that a localised action plan can be carved out.

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