The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic has begun and is set to peak in late January, Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope said in Jalna on Monday.
He also said the quarantine period has been cut from 14 days to seven days.
Tope’s comments come on a day when Maharashtra reported 33,470 new COVID-19 cases and eight fatalities.
He appealed to the people to strictly follow the COVID-appropriate behavior.
“The third wave of the pandemic has begun and is expected to peak at the end of January,” Mr Tope told reporters.
He expressed concern that many political leaders were not adhering to the pandemic protocols, despite the proliferation of cases in Maharashtra.
The Minister of Health also appealed to political parties not to organize meetings and programs.
Referring to an Urdu proverb, ‘Jaan hai to Jahaan hai’, Mr. Tope said everyone should be safe and abide by the standards.
“Due to the spike in cases, the closure of schools is necessary to protect children from the coronavirus. People should support the restrictions announced by the government,” he added.
Mr Tope said he had discussed the pandemic situation in a virtual meeting with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday. The meeting discussed the use of funds under the ECRP 2 (Emergency COVID Response Plans) for pandemic preparedness and prevention, he said.
“Restoring the defunct oxygenators and speeding up the administration of booster dose, vaccination of the children aged 15-18 was also discussed,” added Mr Tope.
He said only four percent of the total 17,000 oxygen-rich beds in Maharashtra have been occupied so far.