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COVID-19: Centre advises states to curb mass gatherings in view of upcoming festivals

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan expressed concerns over upcoming festivals like Muharram, Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi, Janmashtami and Durga Puja, where large public gatherings are expected.

Published: 05th August 2021 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2021 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

Newly-appointed Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan

Newly-appointed Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan (File photo| ANI)

By ANI

NEW DELHI: In view of upcoming festivals, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to all states to actively consider the imposition of local restrictions to curb mass gatherings.

Bhushan said that some states still reflect signs of an upsurge in their daily cases and positivity.

The letter read, "At the outset, let me appreciate your continued leadership and guidance to curb the spread of Covid cases in the country during the second wave of COVID19. Even though the trajectory of daily new cases has shown a steady decline over the last month, there are a few States which still reflect signs of upsurge in their daily cases and positivity,"

"In this regard, directions issued under Disaster Management Act by MHA vide letter dated June 29, for focussed containment measures may kindly be referred to," it read.

"In light of this Order, and in view of upcoming festivals, such as Muharram 19th August), Onam (21st August), Janmashtami (30th August), Ganesh Chaturthi (10th Sep.) and Durga Puja (5th - 15th October 2021) etc, where large public gatherings are expected, it is advised that States may actively consider imposition of local restrictions in public observation of these festivals and curb mass gatherings," Bhushan added in the letter.

It added, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have expressed concern regarding the potential of mass gathering events during festivals turning into super spreader events, thereby leading to a spike in Covid cases. This was earlier communicated to the States vide letter dated 20th July 2021 of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India on Wednesday reported 42,625 new COVID-19 cases, 36,668 recoveries and 562 deaths in 24 hours, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

An increase of 12,076 cases was recorded in the daily infections since Tuesday when 30,549 new cases were reported.

With this, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has reached 3,17,69,132 including 3,09,33,022 discharges and 4,25,757 deaths.

The number of active cases has gone up to 4,10,353, accounting for 1.29 per cent of the total number of cases. 



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