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Maharashtra govt worried about Covid spread as curbs ease

Our Bureau Pune | Updated on August 05, 2021

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope   -  KSL

The State government is worried about controlling public movements and crowds at ‘super spreader’ events in 25 districts where Covid-19 curbs were recently vacated.

Early this week, the Maharashtra government relaxed Covid-19 restrictions allowing shops to remain open longer, industries, government, and private offices to function at full capacity. But State Health Minister Rajesh Tope expressed concern over the implications of the decision.

“We can’t (exactly) predict when the third wave will come. But now there will be festive seasons, including Diwali. We have relaxed norms in 25 districts. Despite taking all efforts, police will not be able to control (crowds). But we have to strike a balance. People demanded relaxation and they are right in a way that they have small businesses, jobs, industries that need to be continued. But efforts must be taken to curb the Covid-19 spread. According to experts, we might experience it ( third Covid-19 wave) after festivals” said Tope in a video message shared on a social media platform.

The government has continued restrictions in eleven districts because of the high number of Covid-19 cases. The majority of these districts are from western Maharashtra and traders, industries and business houses have warned of an agitation if the government fails to vacate restrictions in these districts.

More vaccination needed

“ If we want to stop the third wave or delay it, we have to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour strictly. Spain, UK, Indonesia, Russia and many other countries are witnessing the third wave. These countries have 15-20 per cent of vaccination (vaccinated population). In the UK it is about 70 per cent. The wave is small and severity is less in countries where vaccination is more. The number of serious patients and deaths is less” said Tope.

He insisted that vaccination is important to stop the third wave. “ The State is continuously taking efforts in this direction and taking up the matter with the Centre. I am not saying that the Centre is not providing vaccines, but if we get more vaccines, it is going to help Maharashtra” Minister added.

Published on August 05, 2021

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