Mumbai/Jalna, Feb 4 (PTI) Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said COVID-19 cases are declining in the state and the infection is likely to reach an endemic stage by March.
Talking to reporters in Jalna in central Maharashtra, Tope said since the daily cases are declining, the government’s inclination is to further ease curbs.
He said the state, which reported over 40,000 new cases on some days last month during the third wave peak, is now recording around 15,000 infections.
The infection curve was clearly flattening in major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Raigad, the minister said.
“The cases are declining. We are likely to reach an endemic stage by March. We can see that some cities, which earlier reported less cases, are reaching their peak. But we are hopeful that they will come down soon,” he said.
According to health experts, a disease reaches an endemic stage when its spread is limited to a particular area and its rate is predictable though it does not go way, meaning population there learns to live with the conditions.
Maharashtra recorded 48,270 coronavirus cases on January 21, 2022, the highest so far during the pandemic. Mumbai’s third wave, which started on December 21, 2021, peaked around January 7, 2022, when it recorded its highest-ever 20,971 infections.
The new cases peaked in Pune, its satellite city Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Nagpur on January 21. On that day, Pune recorded 8,464 infections, Pimpri-Chinchwad 4,943 and Nagpur 3,659. Nashik city achieved its peak on January 19 with 1,946 cases.
Tope said the Centre must start the process of vaccinating children in the 12-15 age segment against COVID-19 and added Maharashtra was ready with the required health infrastructure to inoculate this group.
Coronavirus-induced curbs will continue to be eased as the number of cases go down, the minister added.
Maharashtra on Friday recorded 13,840 fresh coronavirus cases and 81 fatalities, the health department said. On Thursday, the state had recorded 15,252 cases and 75 fatalities linked to the infection. PTI PR COR BNM RSY RSY
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Source: The Print