Health Ministry appeals to people to avoid crowds, maintain physical distancing, use face mask during upcoming festival season

NEW DELHI: The Health Ministry has appealed to people to avoid crowds and maintain physical distance and use face masks during the upcoming festival seasons. Briefing the media this evening, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked people to celebrate festivals maintaining Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. 

Mr. Bhushan said, the country has a recovery rate of almost 98 percent. He said, 18 districts in India are reporting a weekly positivity between five percent to 10 percent. 

Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research Dr. Balram Bhargava said, “It will be prudent to avoid non essential travel and observe festivity but at low key at least this year”.

Dengue vaccine is an important agenda.There are certain dengue strains which have been licensed to some companies in India. Many of these companies have done their phase one trials abroad. We are planning to do more rigorous trials: ICMR DG Dr. Balram Bhargava said.

Union Home Ministry directed all States and Union Territories to implement ‘prompt and effective measures’ specified in a September 21 advisory issued in view of festivals, until October 31. 

He also said the call of the hour is to give the full vaccination covering the entire adult population and talk of booster dose is not pertinent at the moment. In all, 69 percent of the population over 18 years of age got their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 25 percent got both doses. 

Mr. Bhushan said, Kerala has highest active cases amounting to one lakh 44 thousands which is 52 percent of total active cases of the country. 

Maharashtra has 40 thousand active cases, Tamil Nadu has 17 thousand and Mizoram has 16 thousand 800 cases. Karnataka has 12 thousand cases and Andhra Pradesh has a little more than 11 thousand active cases. 

The Health Secretary said, the absolute number of cases is declining in Kerala, but it still contributes a substantial number of total cases in the country. Active cases are going down across the country and the cumulative recovery rate is rising.

The daily Covid-19 cases are declining steadily in the country. However, there are still localised spreads of the virus in a few States. 

So, there should not be any mass gathering events to avoid any possibility of surge in Covid-19 cases. Relaxations and restrictions to be imposed based on weekly case positivity. We should avoid unnecessary travel, celebrate online with family and friends. 

Meanwhile, India reported 23,529 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today. 

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