Salman Khan to the rescue, Maha will rope in actor to tackle vaccine hesitancy in Muslim areas: Minister
Bollywood star Salman Khan will help convince people to take the Covid-19 vaccine in Muslim-dominated areas where there is hesitancy about taking the jab, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope has said.
Tope said that Maharashtra is leading in terms of the number of vaccine shots administered but the pace of vaccination is low in some areas of the state, Tope said, speaking to reporters on Monday, according to news agency PTI.
"There is still some hesitancy in Muslim-dominated areas. We have decided to use Salman Khan and religious leaders to convince the Muslim community to take the vaccine," Tope was quoted as saying by the news agency. “Religious leaders and film actors wield great influence and people listen to them," he added.
The Maharashtra health minister said that more than 10.25 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the state so far and all those eligible will have received at least the first dose by the end of this month.
About the possibility of a third wave of the viral infection, Tope said as per the experts, the pandemic has a seven-month cycle, but due to large-scale vaccination, the next wave would not be severe. People should follow the COVID safety protocol and get vaccinated, he added.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra reported 886 Covid-19 cases and 34 related fatalities, taking the tally in the state to 66,25,872 and the death toll to 140,636, the health department said. The state on Monday reported 686 Covid-19 cases and 19 deaths.
The health department’s data showed that seven districts and seven civic bodies did not report any Covid-19 case in the last 24 hours. Mumbai reported the highest with 213 new infections, followed by Pune city with 96 cases.
The discharge of 948 patients in the last 24 hours took the recovery count to 64,69,739, leaving the state with 11,847 active cases. Maharashtra's case recovery rate now stands at 97.64 per cent and the fatality rate is 2.12 per cent.
(With agency inputs)