Covid-19 cases may surge after Ganesh Puja in Maharashtra, warns health official

Maharashtra surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said, “We have been observing that the cases tend to increase after the festivals as there are gatherings during the festivals. Citizens tend to flout basic rules like wearing masks or maintaining social distance.”

People throng Dadar market ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai on September 5. The Maharashtra government changed the name of its Covid-19 action plan to ‘Break The Chain’ from ‘Mission Begin Again’. (ANI)
INDIA NEWS
Covid-19 cases may surge after Ganesh Puja in Maharashtra, warns health official
Maharashtra surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said, “We have been observing that the cases tend to increase after the festivals as there are gatherings during the festivals. Citizens tend to flout basic rules like wearing masks or maintaining social distance.”
By Naresh Kamath
PUBLISHED ON SEP 12, 2021 12:18 AM IST
Mumbai: Maharashtra health officials on Saturday warned against a surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases after 10-day Ganesh Puja festivities in the state, citing example of exponential rise in cases in Kerala after Onam.
State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said, “We have been observing that the cases tend to increase after the festivals as there are gatherings during the festivals. Citizens tend to flout basic rules like wearing masks or maintaining social distance.”

Currently, Maharashtra ranks second in terms of active cases only behind Kerala. At present, there are 37,774 active cases in Maharashtra, of which five districts Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Satara and Ahmednagar account for 75.85% of all cases.

Awate said the state government has served advisories to all districts in the state and asked these five districts to observe caution. “We have asked them to ramp up the testing facilities as well as ensure that the patients are isolated and started their medication,” said Awate.

Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 3,075 new Covid-19 cases, its lowest since February 9 when the state reported 2,515 cases. However, the low case count on Saturday coincided with low testing on Friday, which marked the beginning of the 10-day-long Ganesh Puja in the state. In the last 24 hours, 133,479 Covid-19 tests were performed across the state, which is one of the lowest figures in months. The average daily testing so far this month has been 169,020, which was lower than August, when 193,848 tests were being performed every day.

The test positivity rate (TPR) over the last seven days in the state stood at 2.67%, but health officials are particularly worried about higher TPRs in eight districts. Pune with TPR 6.33%, Sangli (5.59%) and Ahmednagar (5.39%) have over 5% TPR, indicating the Covid-19 situation is yet to get under control.