Maharashtra government makes mask compulsory for the citizens in public places

Mumbai: Amidst a surge in Covid cases in the state, the Maharashtra government has made it compulsory for the citizens to wear masks in public places except open spaces. Additional Chief Secretary, Dr. Pradeep Vyas, in a letter to all district authorities, doled out several orders, including ones for mandating the wearing of masks in public places. "Mask in closed public spaces like trains, buses, cinemas, auditoriums, offices, hospitals, colleges, schools is a must," he dictated.  On Friday, the Maharashtra Health Department asked the 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 issued to collectors, municipal commissioners, municipal corporations and chief executive officers, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Dr. Pradeep Vyas dictated "all districts should ensure the proportion of RT-PCR tests was at least 60 per cent." This is especially important since it comes on the heels of state witnessing a sharp spike in cases over the last week, with June 1 reporting 1,081 cases — the highest since February 24. "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 stated.  The ACS (Health) said, "Lat week, the state had  reported BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, and while there were no complications associated with these cases, one must not get complacent. Dr. Vyas has also asked officials to carry out periodic analysis of new cases with respect to time, place and person so that a localized Plan Of Action (POA) can be fleshed out to stem the surge in cases.

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