Can celebrate festivals later, save lives 1st: Maharashtra CM backs Covid curbs
Pune, Ahmednagar, Satara, Solapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are districts of concern in Maharashtra due to high Covid-19 positivity rates
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday appealed to political parties and organisations not to organise rallies, meetings and protests to prevent assembly of crowds as Covid-19 cases in the state have risen slightly in the past few days. He also brushed aside Opposition criticism over continuing some restrictions, saying festivals could be celebrated later but timely prevention of another Covid surge and saving people’s lives was a bigger “priority” at the moment.
“The demands to open up activities have led to the risk of a spread. There will not be any need for curbs if rules and restrictions are properly followed. I am, therefore, appealing to all political parties, including Sena, to follow restrictions. Our priority should be [saving] the lives of people. Festivals can be celebrated even next year, if everything is well at home. To protect human lives, everyone should follow health restrictions meticulously. Avoid crowding and public events. Do not encourage political meetings, rallies and even Lord Ganesha would wish so,” Thackeray said in a statement on Monday.
The state has named Pune, Ahmednagar, Satara, Solapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg as districts of concern due to their high Covid-19 positivity rates.
“The growth rate and weekly positivity rate in these districts are too high. Pune has clocked 6.58% positivity rate, the highest, and it’s more than 5% in Ahmednagar. With the Ganesh festival beginning from Friday, there are chances of it triggering the third wave or strengthening the second wave in these districts. The administrations need to take utmost care in these districts,” Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary of public health department had said during a presentation on Sunday.
Both Maharashtra and Mumbai have been witnessing a rise in the daily caseload and positivity rate over the past few days. Maharashtra registered 3,626 new Covid-19 cases and 37 deaths on Monday and Mumbai recorded 383 new cases and five deaths, taking the toll to 15,998. The relatively lower numbers of fresh infections were a result of fewer tests (145,457) conducted in the last 24 hours owing to holidays on the weekend. On Sunday, state recorded 4,057 new cases among the 193,193 tested samples. The total number of active patients in Maharashtra currently stands at 47,695. Pune tops cities with most active cases with 12,413 patients, followed by 7,275 in Thane and 6,328 in Satara.