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Mumbai News Highlights: State cabinet pushes for increase in vaccination pace as Covid-19 cases rise

The number of active cases has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 days, the cabinet was told at its meeting.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: December 28, 2021 9:28:16 am
Crowd at Gateway of India (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Maharashtra cabinet on Monday expressed concern over the rising Covid-19 cases in the state and stressed on the need to expedite the pace of vaccination and effective steps to curb the spread of coronavirus, whose new variant Omicron is causing fresh worries.

The number of active cases has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 days, the cabinet was told at its meeting. As on December 26, the state had 9,813 active cases of the infectious disease. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who virtually joined the meeting held in Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, asked for a meeting of state COVID-19 task force in a day or two to review the prevailing coronavirus situation.

Mumbai on Monday reported 809 Covid-19 cases and three deaths. taking the tally in the metropolis to 7,71,921 and the toll to 16,373, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said. The day’s addition was a fall from the 922 cases reported on Sunday, he pointed out.

The recovery count increased to 7,48,199 after 335 people were discharged during the day, leaving Mumbai with 4,765 active cases, he said. With 43,383 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in the country’s financial capital went up to 1,34,92,241, BMC data showed.

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Mumbai reports 809 Covid-19 cases and three deaths; Number of active cases has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 days, state cabinet told. Read highlights

22:07 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Covid-19: Maharashtra reports 26 new cases of Omicron; state tally up to 167

Maharashtra on Monday reported 26 new cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, taking the state tally of those infected with the new strain to 167, the health department said. As many as 11 of the new cases of Omicron, marked as a 'variant of concern' by the WHO, were detected in Mumbai.

“Twenty-six new cases of the Omicron variant have been reported from Maharashtra today,” the health department said in a bulletin.

Giving the break-up of 26, the bulletin said Mumbai reported 11 cases, Raigad (Panvel Municipal Corporation) - five, Thane Municipal Corporation - four, Nanded - two. Nagpur, Palghar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation (in Thane district) and Pune rural reported one case each. With this, a total of 167 patients infected with Omicron have been detected in the state so far, it added. (PTI)

20:52 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Repair work proposals worth over Rs 440 crore to be tabled before Standing Committee

Road repair proposals worth over Rs 440 crore will be tabled for approval before the Standing Committee on Wednesday. Last week, the BMC had approved proposals of about Rs 1,800 crore for repair and improvement of roads in Mumbai.

Ahead of the BMC polls, slated for February, corporators are rushing to clear development projects. Along with road repairs, the civic body will also take up improvement of footpaths in south Mumbai and part of Byculla.

On Wednesday, proposals for development of four open spaces and construction of one swimming pool at Andheri east will also come up for discussion. These five projects will cost Rs 18.75 crore. (PTI)

20:39 (IST)27 Dec 2021
28 students among 31 more test Covid-19 positive in Ahmednagar school

Twenty-eight more students and three staff members of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the number of such cases at the institute to 82 in the last one week, a health department official said.

According to the official, a majority of the infected students are "asymptomatic" and currently admitted to hospital, where their health condition is stable. "We had sent repeat swab samples of some students, who had earlier tested negative, for analysis as they showed some symptoms (of coronavirus).

Last night, the samples of 19 students returned positive and today 12 more samples tested positive (three of them of staff members and bringing total new cases to 31)," said Dr Prakash Lalge, health officer of Parner tehsil in the adjoining district. Of the total 82 patients, 6 are staff members of the school. (PTI)

20:37 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Mumbai sees 809 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths; active tally now 4,765

Mumbai on Monday reported 809 Covid-19 cases and three deaths. taking the tally in the metropolis to 7,71,921 and the toll to 16,373, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said. The day's addition was a fall from the 922 cases reported on Sunday, he pointed out.

The recovery count increased to 7,48,199 after 335 people were discharged during the day, leaving Mumbai with 4,765 active cases, he said. With 43,383 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in the country's financial capital went up to 1,34,92,241, BMC data showed. (PTI)

18:42 (IST)27 Dec 2021
No taking back MSRTC staffers whose services were terminated, Parab tells state council

Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab on Monday said sacked employees of the stir-hit MSRTC will not be taken back as of now. He was responding to a question from BJP MLC Ranjitsinh Mohite Patil in the Legislative Council.

A dominant segment of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation staffers are on strike since October 28 demanding merger of the loss-making undertaking with the state government, with the stir intensifying since November 9 after bus operations got heavily curtailed.

"At this moment, we cannot take the employees whose services have been terminated back on duty. We made at least six appeals but they refused to return to duty. Now, their contract is terminated and we cannot take them back immediately," he said.

"Those who have been suspended are being allowed to resume duty. We have dropped charges against them as well. The strike has caused losses of Rs 650 crore. The corporation was already facing severe financial strain due to restrictions on bus operations amid the COVID-19 lockdown," he added. (PTI)

18:38 (IST)27 Dec 2021
State cabinet pushes for increase in vaccination pace as Covid-19 cases rise

The Maharashtra cabinet on Monday expressed concern over the rising COVID-19 cases in the state and stressed on the need to expedite the pace of vaccination and effective steps to curb the spread of coronavirus, whose new variant Omicron is causing fresh worries.

The number of active cases has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 days, the cabinet was told at its meeting here. As on December 26, the state had 9,813 active cases of the infectious disease.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who virtually joined the meeting held in Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, asked for a meeting of state COVID-19 task force in a day or two to review the prevailing coronavirus situation.

A statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said Thackeray suggested strict vigilance and effective steps to curb the spread of the virus. The statement said the cabinet expressed concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases in the last few days. (PTI)

17:26 (IST)27 Dec 2021
MVA govt's 'insult' to Guv can invite President's rule in Maha: BJP leader Patil

Maharashtra BJP president and MLA Chandrakant Patil on Monday said the way Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has "insulted" governor B S Koshyari over the issue of Assembly Speaker's election, it could invite imposition of the President' rule in the state.

Talking to reporters in the premises of Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, where the state legislature is having its winter session, Patil alleged the Shiv Sena-led MVA government has changed the rules for election of the new Speaker.

The election of Speaker, a post lying vacant since February this year, appears to have become the latest bone of contention between the Raj Bhavan and the three-party coalition government. Patil said, “The MVA government first changed the rules to elect the new Speaker of the Maharashtra legislative Assembly. Then it said it had sent two letters to the governor seeking his approval for election of the new Speaker. Even saying it is an insult to the governor and of the Constitution as well. It could lead to imposition of the President's rule in the state.”

Commenting on the MVA government's functioning, the BJP MLA from Pune described it as "chaotic". “Everybody is asking the crucial question of election schedule for local governing bodies in the state. Exam papers are getting leaked, MSRTC employees' strike is on (for two months now), there is no clear communication on reopening of schools. One can do a PhD over the chaotic functioning of this government.” (PTI)

16:36 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Maha govt firm on holding Assembly speaker's election on Tuesday

The Maharashtra government is working on holding the Assembly speaker's election on Tuesday, the last day of the ongoing winter session, sources said on Monday.

The development comes amid reports that Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has not accepted the state government's plea for holding the speaker's election during the winter session of the state legislature.

However, the state government and the Raj Bhavan refused to confirm it. A delegation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government met Koshyari on Sunday and handed him a letter written by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking the governor's approval for holding an election for the post of Assembly Speaker during the winter session of the state legislature.

Later, state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, who was part of the delegation, had said the governor sought details of the amendments to the legislative rules about holding the election through voice vote instead of ballot. Thorat had also informed that Koshyari said he will discuss and seek more information from legal experts and convey his decision by Monday. (PTI)

15:08 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Maha Legislature passes resolution for postponement of local body polls in absence of OBC quota

The Maharashtra Legislature on Monday unanimously passed a resolution on the postponement of local body elections in the state in the absence of 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar moved the resolution in the state Assembly that the upcoming local body elections be postponed until the OBC reservation is restored. It was seconded by Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.

The resolution was then unanimously passed by the Lower House.

Pawar said the representation to backward classes in local bodies is necessary. Later, Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif tabled the resolution in the Legislative Council after it was passed in the Assembly.

Council Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar sought the opinion of the Upper House over the resolution. The Council members unanimously supported the resolution following which it was passed. (PTI)

15:03 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Derogatory remarks on Mahatma Gandhi: Maha govt assures stern action against Hindu religious leader

The Maharashtra government on Monday assured stern action against Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj for allegedly using derogatory words against Mahatma Gandhi.

Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister raised the issue in the state Assembly and demanded that the religious leader be booked for treason and arrested.

During a 'dharma sansad' at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Sunday evening, Kalicharan Maharaj had allegedly used an abusive word against the Father of the Nation and hailed his assassin Nathrum Godse.

Later, following a complaint by a Congress leader an FIR was registered in Raipur against the religious leader under Indian Penal Code sections 505 (2) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 294 (obscene acts), according to police. (PTI)

14:45 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Sena members seek suspension of BJP MLA Nitesh Rane over behaviour towards Aaditya Thackeray

The Maharashtra Assembly was briefly adjourned on Monday after the Shiv Sena members demanded that BJP legislator Nitesh Rane be suspended over his alleged inappropriate behaviour towards state Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray. The issue was raised by Shiv Sena MLA Suhas Kande after the Question Hour. He alleged that last week, Rane, while sitting in the Vidhan Bhavan premises, made 'meow' sounds looking in the direction of Thackeray, who he was going inside the building. Kande said while all members agree that indecent behaviour against political party leaders shouldn't be allowed, Rane justified his behaviour and told reporters that he would continue to do so.

13:09 (IST)27 Dec 2021
‘Due to seizures, supply of large quantities of drugs is now less’: Anti Narcotics Cell DCP

Usually, during the last week before New Year, there is high demand for narcotics at year-end parties. Datta Nalawade, DCP, Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC), speaks to The Indian Express about the preparedness and steps taken by the organisation to ensure curbs on drug peddling. Read more

12:33 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Governor mandated to accept cabinet recommendations: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday said it is mandatory for a governor to accept recommendations of the state cabinet, a day after a delegation of the Maharashtra government met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to seek his approval for holding the Assembly Speaker's election during the ongoing winter session of the legislature. 

Talking to reporters here, Raut said, "Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari studies a lot. So much study is not good in a democracy. What matters is listening to the voice of the people." "It is mandatory for the governor to accept recommendations of the cabinet," said the Rajya Sabha member, whose party shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra.

11:02 (IST)27 Dec 2021
Bombay HC rejects govt’s appeal against 2001 acquittal of murder accused

The Bombay High Court recently dismissed an appeal by the state government, which had challenged the acquittal of a man from Ratnagiri district, who was booked for murder of a minor girl in July 1994, due to an alleged family dispute. The Ratnagiri sessions court in January 2001 had acquitted the accused of murder charges, after the police failed to provide sufficient and convincing evidence to prove the claims of another minor, who witnessed to the murder.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice S P Tavade delivered the verdict in state's appeal against the acquittal of the man from Ratnagiri. On July 13, 1994, around noon, the deceased minor girl, along with her friend had gone to graze the family cattle nearby their village, and the 23-year-old accused was also grazing his cattle close-by. When a bull belonging to the deceased strayed, she went looking for it. As the weather was windy and rainy, and when the minor did not return, her friend went looking for her and saw the accused assaulting her with a scythe. The friend then ran to minor’s house and brought her parents to the spot, who later found their daughter dead in a pool of blood and the accused had fled.

09:53 (IST)27 Dec 2021
NCB starts campaign for drug-free school campuses in Mumbai

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has started a campaign to keep school campuses free of drugs in Mumbai and has identified 200 institutions to help in the initiative, an official said on Sunday. The campaign has started from a well-known school in Santacruz and the response from the students there has been tremendous, NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede told PTI. "We are asking students to take a pledge to keep their campus drug-free and to inform the NCB if anyone is indulging in drugs inside it or within the vicinity. A link will be sent to schools for students, including those in NCC, to take the pledge," he said. (PTI)

22:40 (IST)26 Dec 2021
Caretaker booked over elderly man’s death: Cops identify doctor who gave accused duplicate death certificate

Days after booking the caretaker of an elderly man for allegedly deliberately not taking his illness seriously, resulting in his death, the police have identified a private doctor from Parel who helped the caretaker and her son with a duplicate death certificate, using which they got a no objection certificate from the police to conduct his final rites.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Patil (zone IV) said, “We have come to know that the doctor gave them the duplicate certificate for Rs 500, that helped them in procuring police NOC. We have so far not named him as an accused in the FIR, but we will soon arrest him.” Read More

22:33 (IST)26 Dec 2021
Maharashtra govt plans to hold Speaker election on Monday, seeks Governor nod

Even as the Maharashtra government plans to hold the election for Assembly Speaker on Tuesday, a delegation of MVA ministers called on Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and urged to him approve the election programme recommended by the state cabinet for the Speaker’s post.

The MVA leaders said after the meeting that they were hopeful the governor would approve the election programme. Read More

21:13 (IST)26 Dec 2021
Watch | Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link illuminated for Christmas

Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link, illuminated for Christmas, attracted huge crowd on Sunday. (Express video by Yogesh Naik)

20:14 (IST)26 Dec 2021
31 new Omicron cases in Maharashtra; state tally of new variant at 141

Maharashtra on Sunday reported 31 new Omicron cases taking the total tally of the new variant in the state to 141, the highest in the country. The state also reported 1,648 new Covid-19 cases, 918 recoveries and 17 deaths today. The total number of active cases stands at 9,813.

18:45 (IST)26 Dec 2021
Mumbai reports 922 new Covid-19 cases, 2 deaths

Mumbai has reported 922 new Covid-19 cases and two related deaths, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation informed on Sunday. According to the data released, the active case load in the BMC limit stands at 4295.

People pose for photographs on the eve of Christmas at Bandra, Mumbai, on Friday. (Photo: PTI)

73% Omicron patients in Mumbai hospital vaccinated with 2 doses

Even as Maharashtra continues to log the highest number of Omicron cases in the country, 22 of the 30 patients infected with the variant admitted at the BMC-run Seven Hills hospital till Wednesday were fully vaccinated.

“Till Wednesday, we had 30 Omicron patients. Twenty two of those were fully vaccinated while the remaining eight were partially immunised,” said Dr Balkrishna Adsul, the dean of Seven Hills Hospital which is the primary designated hospital to treat Omicron patients from Mumbai. Most of these patients are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. Over half of these live outside Mumbai.

This again highlights the fact that Omicron, with 37 mutations in its spike protein, can evade vaccines leading to more reinfections and breakthrough infections, where a patient contracts Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated against SARS-Cov-2.

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