‘Third Covid Wave May Hit India During Oct-Nov Festival Season’, Warns Maharashtra Health Minister


New Delhi: India has been witnessing a surge in Covid cases for the past few days which is rasising an alram to the state governments and citizens considering the possible third Covid wave is standing at the door. Concerned about the raging virus and sudden surge, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday warned that there is a possibility of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which could grip the state during the upcoming festival months of October and November.As experts have warned that the possible third wave of Coronavirus is likley to affect children the most, Rajesh Tope said that the Maharahstra government is bracing up for the next wave of Covid. Tope said that the state administration has recruited around 1,200 doctors and will hire 7,000 more healthcare staff by September end.“We are recruiting 1,200 doctors. By September end, we will recruit 7,000 more health staff. We are increasing the production of oxygen and the number of hospital beds. We’ve purchased 1.000 new ambulances. We have approved an increment of Rs 1,500 in the salary of ASHA workers. This will benefit 71,000 ASHA workers. Approximately Rs 275 crore will be included in the budget for the same,” he told reporters, according to news agency ANI.He also warned that there could be a surge in new infections due to the upcoming festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali and the country may witness the third Covid wave.Tope also informed that since schools have been allowed to reopen in the state, the government has taken the step to vaccinate teachers on priority. He said that the state government has issued a circular to all collectors and local authorities instructing them to vaccinate all teaching and non-teaching staff by September 5, which is also celebrated as Teacher’s Day.“We have issued a circular to collectors and local authorities that till 5th September the vaccination for teaching and non-teaching staff must be completed, if needed organise a vaccination drive too. There is the possibility of a third wave of incoming festivals months so we are also discussing avoiding local bodies’ elections and we are on alert mode on this too,” Tope said at a press conference in Mumbai, reported ANI.
Second wave is not over: CentreThe Union Health Ministry on Thursday said the second wave of coronavirus is not yet over in India and added that Covid-appropriate behaviour has to be followed during the festivals.“We are still in the midst of the second surge of Covid-19 in our country. The second surge has not yet concluded. It is not over and therefore, we have to maintain all necessary precautions, particularly in light of our experience that after every festival we see a spike,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Maharashtra witnesses spike in Covid casesMaharashtra reported 5,108 new Covid-19 cases, slightly more than Wednesday’s, and 159 deaths on Thursday. The fresh surge took the state’s infection tally to 64,42,788 and the death toll to 1,36,730.Mumbai, meanwhile, with 397 new Covid-19 cases, registered its highest daily count in nearly a month.



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