Maharashtra CM asks people to wear mask as Covid cases rise in Mumbai & Pune

Mumbai: Voices of concern were raised at the Maharashtra Cabinet meeting on Thursday over the rising number of Covid cases in the state, especially since April. Mumbai and Pune are seeing more cases and the weekly positivity rate of the two districts is higher than that of the state.

The weekly positivity rate in Mumbai is at 3.17% and at 2.16% in Pune – much higher than the entire state’s rate which stands at 1.59%.

On April 15, the state had just 681 active positive cases, which has gone up steadily to 2,175 cases as on May 25. Similarly, on April 15, the state had just 69 new cases. This has gone up to 480 new cases by May 25. A huge portion of this increase in cases comes from the spike in cases in Mumbai.

The government has been anxious over this development as, in the last seven days, 67.27% of the increase in cases in the state was from Mumbai alone. The district has 1,561 active cases. The issue was discussed at the Maharashtra cabinet meeting on Thursday. After the meeting, the chief minister issued a statement, exhorting people to wear masks and follow Covid appropriate behavior.

However, the numbers are still considerably lower than last year’s. For instance, in April 2021, the state used to get more than 60,000 new cases per day at the height of the pandemic.

“We removed the restriction of wearing masks on April 2 and within a span of 15 days the cases have gone up. If cases continue to go up, masks have to be made compulsory,” said a state government official.

He added that this decision has to be taken by the government since the number of people admitted to hospitals is still quite low. Of the 2,000-odd cases, only 93 people have been admitted to hospital. Of these, 20 have been admitted in the ICU and one patient is on ventilator. The state has vaccinated 92.27% of its population above 18 years. However, the vaccination coverage in rural areas is still not up to the standards with districts like Nandurbar, Beed and Hingoli still not able to give their entire population the first dose of the vaccine.

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