'Big rise' in Maharashtra COVID-19 cases, avoid travel: State Health Minister

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said the state has witnessed a "big rise" in the number of coronavirus positive patients, and appealed to the people to avoid using public transport to contain the spread.

 

Talking to reporters, Tope said the number of coronavirus positive patients in the state has increased to 63 with 11 new cases.

"A rise from 52 to 63 is big. Of the 11 new cases, eight have travel history abroad and three came in contact with the affected persons. Meanwhile, 10 cases are in Mumbai, while one is in Pune", he said

Of the total number of patients, 13 to 14 patients are those, who came in contact with the positive patients, rest all are import cases.

"The spread has been largely because of people who came from outside. I appeal to the people not to venture out. They should exercise self discipline by maintaining social distancing and hygiene," Tope said.

"If there is no reduction in crowd in public transport, a shutdown will have to be put in place. There is also an option of allowing people in public transport after checking their I-cards," he said.

“The suburban trains in Mumbai will function for essential activities”, he added.

He also said that the rush of the working class at the railway stations to head back to their home state is something to worry about.

"We have asked for increasing the number of outstation trains, so that those who want to go back to their native places, can do so. This will reduce crowding at railway stations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune," the minister said.

Tope said that the rise in the number of patients is a major cause of concern and people's cooperation is needed to fight out the outbreak.

 

With inputs from Agency

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