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Rajesh Tope

Nagpur: Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Monday said that the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic has started which will peak by January-end.

Tope also said that the quarantine period which was of 14 days has been reduced to a week now. The health minister also appealed to the people to strictly follow the Covid-19 appropriate behavior. “The third wave of the pandemic has started. It is expected to peak by January-end,” Tope said while addressing the media.

His statement comes after Maharashtra recorded over 33,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours. He also expressed concerns over many political leaders not following the Covid-19 norms despite rising cases in the state. Tope further urged the political parties not to hold rallies, organise meetings and programmes. “Jaan hai toh Jahaan hai,” the Maharashtra minister said, asking everyone to be safe and follow the norms laid out by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

When asked about schools, Tope said, “Due to the spike in cases, the closure of schools is necessary to protect children from coronavirus. People should support the restrictions announced by the government.”

Experts also claim that there could be a significant undercounting of Covid-19 cases among the children due to limited testing and less vaccination. While addressing the media, Tope also mentioned that he had spoken to union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya virtually to discuss about the pandemic situation and told that “Repairing the defunct oxygen plants and expediting administration of a booster dose, vaccination of the children between 15-18 years was also discussed.” He added that utilization of funds under ECRP 2 (Emergency Covid Response plans) for preparedness and prevention of the pandemic was also discussed.

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