Over half of the new cases —889 — are from Mumbai alone. This is followed by Navi Mumbai (104) and Thane (91). The only death reported across the state on Saturday was from Mumbai.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope clarified on Saturday that the government has not decided to make masks mandatory. Speaking to mediapersons, he said that confusion has been created in some sections of the media due to usage of some words in a three-page letter sent by the health department to the district collectors.
Expecting a further rise in Covid-19 cases, Additional Chief Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas, in a letter to the DCs on Friday, had directed that testing, genome sequencing and surveillance be increased. The letter had said that masking in closed places is a “must”.
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Tope, however, said that as of now, there is no compulsion on people to mask up and they have only been urged to use face masks in closed spaces. “The government is keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary action would be taken after 10-15 days,” he added.
Vyas also clarified that no government resolution has been issued in this regard.
Dr Pradip Awate, the state surveillance officer, said, “The severity of the infections is mild. People are recovering within two to three days. But it is essential that people wear masks in crowded places and take booster shots.”
“Number of cases are likely to increase further in the next one or two days. So far, the infection spread is restricted only in six to seven districts,” he added.
The state’s active case tally stood at 5,888 on Saturday. At 4,294, 72 per cent of the active cases from across Maharashtra are from Mumbai.
A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner instructed his staff to increase testing, the number of tests conducted in the last 24 hours in Mumbai crossed 10,000 for the first time in the last two months.
The daily Test Positivity Rate (TPR) – the number of positive cases detected among the tests conducted – stood at 8.6 per cent. Between Friday and Saturday, 10,257 tests were conducted in Mumbai.
In the last one month, active Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra have surged six-fold. Vyas’ letter to the district collectors had stated that daily cases have crossed 1,000 for the first time on 1 June after three months. “Currently, Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Thane are seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases but with the positivity rate increasing in other districts, we can expect an increase in cases in other districts as well,” the letter had added.