Consider curbs for Muharram, Durga Puja: Centre to all states amid 3rd wave fear
The Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Centre for Disease Control have expressed concern over the possibility of mass gatherings during the upcoming occasions, the Union health ministry said in a letter to all states.
A few days ago, the Union health ministry warned 10 states over their increased contribution to India's daily Covid-19 caseload. On Wednesday, the Centre wrote to all states to actively consider imposing local restrictions in public observation of occasions like Muharram, Onam, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja.
These occasions are lined up from August to October starting with Muharram on August 19, Janmashtami on August 30, Ganesh Chaturthi on September 10 and Durga Puja between October 5 and October 15. "Indian Council of Medical Research and National Centre for Disease Control have expressed concern regarding the potential mass gathering events during festivals turning into superspreader events, thereby, leading to a spike in Covid cases...I would like to reiterate that any laxity in ensuring strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and ensure Covid appropriate behaviour may result in losing the impetus that our country has gained so far in managing the pandemic," health secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to the chief secretaries of all states.
Though the Covid-19 situation is steadily improving in India, the second wave of the pandemic which reached its peak in May is not yet over as several states are reporting a rise either in the number of fresh infections or in the positivity rate, the Centre warned earlier.
The Centre has sent its team to Kerala to probe into the rise of the cases. Another team has been sent to northeastern states, where the situation is equally worrying.
10 states where Covid-19 cases and case positivity rate are rising
Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur have been warned by the Centre for the worsening situation of Covid-19.
Eight states where the infection spreading rate is alarming
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry are the eights states/UTs where the infection is spreading at a higher rate than the other states, the Centre has said.
Covid-19 restrictions make a comeback
Several states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh have made negative RT-PCR tests mandatory for specific travellers. Weekend lockdown, night curfews are also making a comeback in specific areas as it has been observed that the present surge is only confined to smaller ar