At Covid-19 review meet with northeast states, PM Modi shows concern over tourist rush
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a high-level review meeting on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with the chief ministers of the northeastern states. At the conference, held virtually over video-conferencing, the Prime Minister expressed his concerns over the influx of unmasked tourists at hill stations and marketplaces, calling for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones.
"The number of Covid-19 cases is rising," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, addressing the chief ministers present at the meet, "We need to take strict action to curb the situation at the micro-level."
"It is a matter of concern", the Prime Minister said, highlighting the fact that people are travelling without face masks at hill stations and marketplaces. "We need to encourage people to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour," he said.
Prime Minister Modi also said that officials need to keep an eye out for the various Covid-19 variants which are currently being studied by experts. "We need to keep an eye on each Covid-19 variant. Timely prevention and treatment are very important in such a dynamic situation," he said.
Noting that the Covid-19 situation is "worrisome" in some districts of the northeastern part of the country, Prime Minister Modi called for greater cooperation to prevent a potential third wave of the pandemic.
The northeastern states have witnessed a recent spike in Covid-19 cases, despite a decrease in the number of cases across India. The Union ministry of health and family welfare had earlier said that around 80% of the Covid-19 cases in India at the moment are being witnessed from 90 districts. As many as 14 of them are from the northeast, it added.
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The Centre had rushed multi-disciplinary expert teams to six states earlier this month, four of which were from the northeast -- Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura.
A recent letter circulated by Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan pointed out that Arunachal Pradesh is an area of concern that the state has a weekly positivity rate of 16.2% (between June 28 and July 4) and the trend saw an upward rise.