Maharashtra has reported over 3,000 new Covid cases of coronavirus infections every day of the last week. The number of new Covid cases in the second week of February was around 14 per cent more than the first week. In the week ending February 14, 20,207 new Covid cases were detected across Maharashtra. In the previous week of February 1 to February 7, around 17,672 new Covid cases were recorded, as per an Indian Express report.
In the last week, Mumbai and Pune have reported more than 600 cases in a day. Nagpur has reported over 500 cases twice in the last week and Thane has reported more than 400 in the same duration.
Two factors may be behind this sudden growth in Covid cases. One could be the decision to allow the general public to travel in local trains in the Mumbai region. However, that does not indicate the increase that is being reported in Vidarbha. State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate has claimed that the recently-held gram panchayat elections could also have triggered the increase.
In a stern message, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that people, who do not follow physical distancing norms, avoid face masks, would have to pay a heavy penalty. Tope said the district administration had authorized to shut schools if the situation so warranted, the IE report says.
According to the guidelines, invitees at family functions, including marriages, or other events cannot exceed 50. There should be a complete ban on processions, protests, and rallies for the time being. If several Covid positive cases are reported, buildings must be sealed. There should be stringent fines for people not following social distancing norms or not wearing face masks in public.