India — Authorities in Maharashtra and Punjab have stepped up their efforts in the last two days to address the issue of rising Covid-19 cases in the states. Officials have said that carelessness among the people in the state could be one of the reasons for the rise in the number of cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). They have also warned citizens that failing to adhere to rules could hurt the process of further reopening as well as efforts put in by healthcare workers over the past year to bring the pandemic under control.
Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday urged people to adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures as surging Covid-19 cases put the government in Maharashtra in a tight spot. Pednekar distributed protective masks to people at a vegetable market in Dadar while instructing people to adhere to social distancing rules. Pednekar also pointed out that people tend to fear the police officials more than marshals appointed by the civic authorities. “Mumbai Police have joined hands with us. People are more scared of the police than marshals. I request all to wear masks, sanitise and maintain social distancing,” Pednekar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The government in Maharashtra, which has been recording more than 2,500 Covid-19 cases on average since the past few weeks, has over the past two weeks asked citizens to take precautions in order to prevent contracting coronavirus disease. It has already warned its citizens of a lockdown if rules are not followed and cases are on the rise.
The state recorded 5,210 Covid-19 cases on Monday while Mumbai recorded 1,364 cases and there were four reports of death from the city. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had earlier said that Mumbai has witnessed a 36.38% rise in Covid-19 cases in the city since February 8, according to a report by news agency PTI.
Civic officials outlined the carelessness of citizens and the running of local trains as a reason for the rise in cases and also said that the reopening of malls and shopping complexes leading to a rise in commercial activities have also led to a surge in the number of cases.
The Punjab government also asked people to follow social distancing rules and adhere to Covid-19 preventative measures in order to save themselves from getting infected. It has said that people need to shed their careless attitude regarding the pandemic and follow rules strictly. “People are not following Covid-19 safety precautions like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing which is the main reason behind the surge in cases in the state,” Punjab’s nodal officer for Covid-19 Rajesh Bhaskar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI on Monday.
The northern state recorded close to 400 cases of the coronavirus disease on Monday even as the death toll inched closer to 5,800 with 15 fresh fatalities.
The Centre has urged Punjab and Maharashtra to step up efforts to arrest the rise in Covid-19 cases. It has asked these states, along with Chattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, to increase the pace of vaccination, identify clusters and increase RT-PCR testing.
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