Health minister dismisses rumours of lifting mask mandate | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Health minister dismisses rumours of lifting mask mandate

Jan 29, 2022 10:54 PM IST

While acknowledging the decline in Covid cases, the Maharashtra government has dismissed reports which said that the rule of mandatorily wearing masks may be lifted soon

Mumbai While acknowledging the decline in Covid cases, the Maharashtra government has dismissed reports which said that the rule of mandatorily wearing masks may be lifted soon. State health minister Rajesh Tope said that the peak of the third wave has passed as the state was witnessing a decline in cases.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said that the peak of the third wave has passed as the state was witnessing a decline in cases (Vijay Bate)
State health minister Rajesh Tope said that the peak of the third wave has passed as the state was witnessing a decline in cases (Vijay Bate)

The state reported 27,971 Covid new cases with 61 deaths on Saturday. Tope said that the peak of the third wave has almost passed through in Maharashtra. “We are getting less than 30,000 patients daily compared to 45,000 during the peak season. More than 92% of the beds are vacant and a majority of the patients are in home quarantine,” he said.

He further pointed out the increasing number of cases in Nagpur, Nashik and Pune. “There is nothing to worry about as the majority of these patients are asymptomatic,” he added.

The speculations that Maharashtra was removing compulsory wearing of masks gained ground as there were reports that this issue was discussed at the cabinet meeting held this week. Both Tope and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray asserted that masks are here to stay.

Thackeray said that masks still remain the most effective weapon to fight against the virus.

“I want to make it clear that this report is misleading. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has still not declared Covid as an endemic. It has still not been clarified whether the Omicron variant is weak or strong. I just want to make it clear that if we wish to save our lives, masks are the most effective shields,” said Thackeray.

Dr Ameet Mandot, director, Gut Clinic, said that one needs to proceed with caution. “The virus is going through various forms by constantly mutating itself and we should learn to live with this. Most of our problems will be solved if we wear masks properly, observe social distancing and adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour,” said Dr Mandot.

Meanwhile, Mumbai added 1,411 infections on Saturday with 11 deaths thus bringing its total death toll to 16,602.

The total number of Covid patients right from the outbreak last year has now reached 76,83,525.

There are currently 2,44,344 active cases of which Pune tops with 75,991 cases followed by Thane with 18,855 cases and Mumbai with 12,187.

The death toll has now reached 1,42,522 with Pune leading with 19,969 deaths followed by Mumbai with 16,602 and Thane with 11,724.

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