Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar urged residents to celebrate the Ganesh Chaturthi festival at their homes and warned them about the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Hindustan Times reported.
“The third-wave [of Covid-19] is not coming, it is already here,” she told reporters. “It has already been declared in Nagpur.”
Pednekar was referring to a comment by Nagpur Guardian Minister Nitin Raut who on Monday claimed that the city had entered third wave of the pandemic.
On Monday, Nagpur had recorded 12 new cases – the first instance of cases reaching double digits in recent weeks.
Pednekar’s warning about Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations came a day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked residents to avoid gatherings during festivals.
The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which begins on September 10. The festival is celebrated over 10 days on a large scale in Maharashtra and devotees typically gather in large number in public spaces.
Thackeray had also said that the third wave of Covid-19 was “at our doorsteps”.
On Tuesday, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the third wave was “looming large” and urged people to follow Covid-19 protocols, NDTV reported.
There has been no official word from the Union health ministry on whether India has indeed entered the third wave of the coronavirus.
In August, the Centre’s vaccination panel chief, NK Arora, had said he did not think the third wave of Covid-19 infections will hit the country in September-October.
However, data showed that there had been an uptick in the Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra.
The weekly positivity rate in the state climbed to 2.71% during the week, ending on September 4, as compared 2.58% during the last week of August, according to News18.
On Tuesday, the state recorded 3,898 fresh Covid-19 cases at a daily positivity rate of 11.77%. As many as 86 people died due to the infection, ANI reported, citing government data.
In August, the Maharashtra government had banned all public gatherings, including the formation of human pyramids, during the traditional Dahi handi event held on Janmashtami festival.
The Union home ministry had on August 28 written to states and Union Territories, advising them to take measures to avoid large gatherings during the upcoming festive season and, if required, impose local restrictions.