Rajesh Tope cites Kerala Covid-19 spike to warn people ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi
Rajesh Tope ruled out any curbs in the state during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival even as he mentioned Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray would a final call.
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday cited Kerala as an example to ask the people to follow guidelines issued to check the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state, especially during the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
“During Ganeshotsav celebrations, everyone should follow Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government. The gathering of crowds leads to an increase in the possibility of the spread of infection. This has been seen in other states,” Rajesh Tope was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated across the country on September 10 this year.
The Maharashtra health minister said the number of Covid-19 infections spiked in Kerala in the aftermath of the Onam festival, where thousands of people thronged crowded marketplaces with hardly any regard for physical distancing protocol.
Tope cautioned about around four to five districts in Maharashtra, including Pune, where the number of Covid-19 patients is high.
Earlier in the day, Tope ruled out any curbs in the state during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The minister said that the state government is closely monitoring the situation pertaining to the Covid-19. “The final decision will be taken by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray,” Tope said.
On Monday, Uddhav Thackeray urged the people of the state to avoid crowding during the upcoming festivities to avoid Covid-19 cases from rising.
The chief minister also warned the political parties for demanding temples be reopened across the state. "Do not agitate for reopening of temples but do it against COVID-19," he had said.
Maharashtra witnessed 3,626 Covid-19 cases on Monday — the state’s lowest daily count since February 15 — and 37 related deaths, taking the case positivity rate to 2.49%.