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Mass gatherings should be discouraged ahead of upcoming festive season

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The Centre said on Thursday that mass gatherings should be discouraged amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, particularly in the upcoming festive season.

“Mass gatherings should clearly be discouraged and full vaccination should be a prerequisite if it is a absolutely essential and critical to have a gathering of some people, “Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Dr Balram Bhargava said while addressing the health ministry’s press briefing on the pandemic situation in the country. Dr Bharagava also stressed on the fact that people should keep on wearing masks despite being vaccinated against Covid-19.

Echoing his concerns, Niti Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K paul said people have to be careful in the upcoming festive season, adding despite the vaccination programmed accelerating in the country, the precautions against Covid-19 must continue.

“The time has not yet come to remove masks. This year too, festivals will be celebrated in the same way as they were celebrated last year. We have to wait more for festivals to be celebrated traditionally”. Dr Paul told reporters and urged people to celebrate festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Eid etc within their families.

“We will not have mass gatherings, we will not move our unnecessarily and we will shop at markets carefully without overcrowding”. Dr Paul Further said.

Lest week, the Union home ministry extended all the Covid-19 related protocols in the country till Septmber 30, and directed states and union Territories (UTs) to take proactive containment measures ahead of the upcoming festive season. According to the order issued by Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, the MHA told states and UTs to ensure that there are no large gatherings and if required, necessary local restrictions should be imposed in potentially crowded places, where people must adhere to Covid-appropiate behavior.

The home ministry’s orders are of utmost importance for states such as Kerala and Maharashtra, which have been seeing an uptick in their daily infections and are contributing the most towards India’s caseload.

India has so far recorded 32,857,937 cases due to Covid-19 which include 32,028,825 recoveries, 439,529 deaths and 389,583 active cases. On Thursday, the country saw a high in its daily tally as 47,092 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, while 509 more people died in the same period.

Authorities have administered a total of 663,037,334 vaccine doses to eligible beneficiaries till now of which over 8.1 million doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

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