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'Maharashtra Covid curbs may be eased further in Mar; mask mandate to stay'

With daily cases declining and third wave on the wane, coronavirus-related restrictions are likely to be eased further in Maharashtra in March: Health Minister Rajesh Tope

A BMC health worker collects swab sample of an outstation passenger for COVID-19 test at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj terminus in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

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Press Trust of India Aurangabad
With daily cases declining and third wave on the wane, coronavirus-related restrictions are likely to be eased further in Maharashtra in March, but mask mandate and social distancing norms will continue to remain in place, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday.
Talking to reporters in adjoining Jalna district, he cited a letter from the Union government asking states to review, amend or do away with additional COVID-19 restrictions after considering the trend of new cases and positivity rate in their regions. Tope said the state task force on COVID-19 also favours easing of curbs, but a final decision on the issue will be taken by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. "I expect further relaxation in restrictions next month. The Chief Minister will take a decision on this," he said. Tope said, 'In the letter, the central government has clearly mentioned that every state should bring down the number of restrictions and focus on ensuring COVID-19-appropriate behaviour among people along with vaccination." "Use of face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing should continue in a big country like ours...we cannot stop such measures immediately in the pandemic," the minister said. He said the state cabinet will be take the final call on easing curbs, which were tightened in the state after the third coronavirus wave started in late December when the highly contagious Omicron variant fuelled a surge in cases. "The Centre is pushing for relaxation in restrictions and the task force has also agreed for it. We will put a proposal in the cabinet meeting requesting for easing of restrictions and I hope the CM will take a positive decision. There is, however, no question of giving relaxation on mask usage," Tope maintained.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 21 2022 | 7:50 PM IST

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