As the festive season in the country has begun in full swing, with Durga Puja and Diwali celebration just around the corner, a senior Health Ministry official warned people bout the threat of COVID-19 resurgence.
“Please watch your October, November, December,” Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal warned.
Warning people about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence during the coming festivals such as Dussehra, Diwali, Durga Puja, Milan-un-Id and Christmas and wedding season, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said at a press conference, “Please watch your October, November, December.”
“We cannot take the current stable situation for granted. We have to be mindful of the fact that the pandemic is going on and can take an untoward turn if we are not careful,” NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said.
While overall COVID-19 positivity across the country gives comfort, Agarwal pointed out that there are still a large number of districts reporting high case positivity.He said five states — Mizoram, Kerala, Sikkim, Manipur and Meghalaya — are reporting a weekly positivity rate of more than five per cent.
Thirty-four districts across nine states and union territories are reporting a weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, while 28 districts across 12 states and UTs are reporting a weekly positivity rate between 5 and 10 per cent, he informed.
Agarwal said, “A surge in cases globally aggravates the ongoing concern related with COVID-19 management adding around 4.54 lakh cases are being reported on an average daily globally.”
Stating there has been global evidence of surge followed by unhindered public gatherings at various events in the UK, Russia and the Netherlands, Agarwal advised people to avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel and to stay home, celebrate festivals virtually and explore online modes of shopping.
Sustained efforts by the community are the key for successful pandemic management, he said.
Paul said, “In three months — October, November and December — we will take the vaccination forward. This is our aim. We saw that when in other countries…Complacency was observed it led to paying a high price.”
In the US, still, 1,500-2,000 daily cases are being reported, he said. “If we compare it with our population then it is 300 per million and if it was 333 then it would have been as many as the second peak seen in India. This shows that we cannot take any risk in this delta variant times. If we look at the UK then there are more than 40,000 cases per day and their population is just 7 crore…The infection is spreading at more intensity there than our second wave,” Paul said.
Lastly, some states have a 21 per cent positivity rate and 1,000 cases in a small state like Mizoram are worrying, he highlighted.