Mumbai, June 4: In wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the state's Covid-19 task force has urged the state government to make masks mandatory in public places. The recommendation comes after Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray with the COVID-19 taskforce team.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the task force also suggested that high-risk categories such as senior citizens and immunocompromised patients must continue wearing masks for their own safety. On Friday, Maharashtra reported 1,134 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths. Out of these, 763 cases were from Mumbai. Sonia Gandhi Tests Positive for COVID-19, Isolates Self, Says Congress Leader Randeep Surjewala.

Dr. Kedar Toraskar, critical care specialist and member of the state Covid-19 task force said, "We suggested that masks should be made compulsory in public places like buses, local trains, malls, and multiplexes where the population density is high. Following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour will also help in combating other airborne diseases like tuberculosis."

On Thursday, Thackeray had urged to continue wearing masks and follow Covid-19 protocols including social distancing and washing of hands. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leader said that if cases continue to increase, mask mandate and other curbs are more likely to make a comeback.

"Presently the situation still looks under control. We aren’t recording many cases that needed hospitalisation. In Wockhardt hospital, there were four cases of Covid-19 positive patients who needed to be hospitalised for some other ailment and had mild symptoms,” said Toraskar. He also suggested that people take booster doses and continue wearing masks. Karnataka Shocker: Man Strangles Mother to Death With Her Saree for Not Buying Mobile, Arrested.

Dr. Vasant Nagvekar, a member of the task force and infectious disease expert also said that non-adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour is one reason for the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

"If you are in a crowded and poorly ventilated place, it is advisable to wear a mask. The vulnerable population that includes senior citizens and those with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension are getting affected, and therefore should be more cautious and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour," Dr. Nagvekar added. Hyderabad Gangrape Case: Telangana BJP Chief Bandi Sanjay Demands CBI Probe.

Officials from the civic body said that hospitals have been instructed to keep a watch on people with influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI). Dr. Mangala Gomare, executive health officer with the BMC said, "We have asked all health officers to screen patients with ILI and SARI for Covid-19. We have also directed hospitals to collect samples of suspected patients visiting OPDs (outdoor patient departments). If the report is positive, we will send the samples for genome sequencing."

Dr. Nagvekar also added that patients that have ILI and SARI symptoms should first undergo Covid-19 tests. "With monsoons around the corner, patients will develop ILI and SARI. A Covid-19 test should therefore be first advised by doctors," he stated.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 04, 2022 03:49 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website