New Delhi: With the threat of the third wave of coronavirus looming, the government has urged people to avoid crowded places during the upcoming festival and wedding season, as India continues to fight the pandemic. “Please keep an eye on your October, November, and December,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary with the Health Ministry, warning people about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence during upcoming festivals such as Dussehra, Diwali, Durga Puja, Milan-un-Id, and Christmas, as well as the wedding season.
Agarwal was speaking at the weekly media briefing in the national capital. Besides, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul was also present. “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,” Paul said.
Here are the key points from their address:-
• Avoid crowded places and celebrate festivals virtually, said Agarwal while speaking about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence.
• Though the situation is plateauing, the country is still reporting as high as 20,000-odd new infections every day, the government said asserting that the second wave of the pandemic is not over
• Please watch your October, November, December, said Agarwal warning people about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence during the coming festivals.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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, said Paul, adding that in the US, still 1,500-2,000 daily cases are being reported.
• “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.
• Furthermore, Paul said that the government has no straightforward formula to calculate what extent the peak could reach this time, but it is preparing for a surge of 4.5 to 5 lakh cases per day.
With 22,431 people testing positive for coronavirus infection yesterday, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,38,94,312, while the active cases declined to 2,44,198. The death toll climbed to 4,49,856 with 318 fresh fatalities.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 1.57 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for last 38 days. The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 1.68 per cent.