Home / News / India /  Maharashtra to make face masks mandatory again? What health minister said

Although there is no need to bring back the face mask mandate yet in Maharashtra, the government will be forced to make it compulsory if there is a further increase in new Covid-19 cases, said state health minister Rajesh Tope.

"The figures are growing in small spaces, which is alarming. Hence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi (recently) held a meeting with chief ministers of states and told them to be on alert. As of today, there is no need for restrictions. But, if the cases go up, we will have to impose restrictions and make masks compulsory," Tope was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The minister also informed that the authorities are currently following a "wait and watch" response. 

He said that the government's focus is vaccination of children in the age group of 12-14 and 15-17 years.

“There are some challenges in this as schools are now closed. If any protocols are issued by the Centre for the 6-12 years age group, we will implement them at a fast pace," said Tope. 

The minister also said that though the vaccination is not mandatory, "we have to show people the advantages of getting inoculated and convince them to take the jabs".

His statements came as Maharashtra reported 155 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, as against 148 on Friday. There are 998 active cases in the state currently. Most cases are being seen in Mumbai. 

Tope had earlier last week also stated that with a rise in Covid-19 cases in several states, Maharashtra may make the wearing of masks in crowded places mandatory again as a precautionary measure. 

Maharashtra had done away with all Covid-19 related restrictions on 2 April on the occasion of Gudhi Padwa, the Marathi New Year.

However, Tope had then urged people to wear masks voluntarily to prevent the spread of the virus. 

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