State Health Minister Rajesh Tope rules out possibility of 4th wave of COVID

Nagpur: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday that there was no possibility of a fourth wave of COVID-19 given the current situation.

Speaking to reporters here, Tope said nearly 200 to 250 cases are being reported every day in the state and there isn’t much of an increase in those numbers.

“The recovery rate of COVID-19 is very good and Maharashtra has had very good vaccination results. Therefore, I believe that in the current situation, there is no possibility of a fourth wave (of the viral infection),” the minister said.

On Sunday, Maharashtra reported 326 cases of COVID-19 bringing the state’s total to 78,82,802, while the death toll stood at 1,47,856 as no new deaths were recorded.

According to the state health department, 251 patients were discharged Sunday, leaving the state with 1,903 active cases of COVID-19.

When asked if the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was mandatory for everyone, Tope said there was no constraint, but healthcare and frontline workers, employees essential services and the elderly received booster shots in accordance with central government guidelines.

“However, we have not made the booster dose compulsory for everyone because there are no such guidelines from the central government,” he said.

Asked about Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati’s support for the upcoming six-seat Rajya Sabha polls in Maharashtra, Tope said, “We respect Sambhajiraje, and a final decision on his support will be taken together by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav. Thackeray, NCP Chairman Sharad Pawar and senior Congressman Balasaheb Thorat.”

The terms of six Maharashtra Rajya Sabha members – Piyush Goyal, Vinay Sahastrabuddhe and Vikas Mahatme (all three from the BJP), P Chidambaram (Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) end on July 4.

Voting is scheduled for June 10. The BJP can win two seats in Rajya Sabha with the number of MPs it has, while ruling allies Shiv Sena, Congress and Maharashtra’s NCP can win one seat each.

The competition will therefore be for the sixth seat. Sambhajiraje, a member of the royal family of Kolhapur and a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was previously a member appointed by the Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament.

He recently announced that he will stand in the next Rajya Sabha elections as an independent candidate and called on all parties to support him.

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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022, 11:29 a.m. IST

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