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Maharashtra lifts mask mandate, wearing masks voluntary now

The Maharashtra CMO released a statement announcing: "All COVID-19 restrictions in Maharashtra will be lifted, as we bring in the new year this Gudi Padwa!"

March 31, 2022 / 06:11 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope announced on March 31 that the mask mandate is being lifted along with other COVID-19 restrictions. The restrictions will cease to exist from April 2, when Maharashtra celebrates Gudi Padwa.

He said: “All pandemic-related restrictions including mandatory wearing of mask to be lifted in Maharashtra from April 2.”

Wearing masks will be voluntary from now, but the practice will be encouraged by the state government, especially in crowded and public places.

The decision was taken at a Maharashtra Cabinet meeting presided over by CM Uddhav Thackeray. According to news agency ANI, this is the first meeting he participated in in-person since he underwent spine surgery in November 2021.

Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad also confirmed via a tweet that the state cabinet has decided to lift all the existing COVID-19 restrictions in the state, which currently has less than 1,000 active coronavirus cases at 902.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office has released a statement on Twitter announcing the same.

Maharashtra has reported 183 fresh COVID-19 cases, 219 recoveries, and one coronavirus death in the past 24 hours.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 31, 2022 05:42 pm