Health Minister Rajesh Tope stated on Saturday that the Maharashtra government’s latest communication on the use of masks was merely a request and that masks were not made mandatory in the state.
For the past few days, the number of Coronavirus cases in the state has been rapidly increasing.
The state health agency sent a letter to district and civic officials on Friday, urging them to increase testing and recommending that people wear masks in enclosed areas such as trains, buses, cinemas, auditoriums, offices, hospitals, colleges, and schools.
However, it was unclear whether the usage of masks would be made essential once more. In April, the mask compulsion was lifted.
“Although the letter from the health ministry states that mask use is mandatory, it is actually a request to individuals to wear masks,” Tope told reporters in Pune. Those who do not wear them will face no consequences.”
In enclosed spaces such as trains, buses, schools, and colleges, masks are recommended. In such settings, people are expected to wear masks, he continued.
COVID-19 cases have increased in Mumbai, Pune, Palghar, Thane, and sections of Raigad district, according to the ministry.
Tope said the Union health ministry had also given an advice to the state about the surge in cases a few days earlier.