NEW DELHI: Underlining that 73 districts in India are still reporting higher than 10% Covid-19 test positivity rate, the government on Tuesday issued a fresh warning and said that the second wave is still not over.
It also cautioned people against thronging hill stations and not maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour as reports of thousands undertaking "revenge travel" emerge.
Of the 73 districts reporting alarming test positivity rates in India, the highest - 18 - are in Arunachal Pradesh in the north east, the region with the worst Covid-19 situation presently. Rajasthan with 10 such districts is also not far behind. Authorities say that for the pandemic to stay under control, the test positivity rate should remain under 5%.
The other states in the north east reporting worrying test positivity rate include Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland while many districts in Kerala, Maharashtra and Odisha are also in this category.
"If this positivity rate goes beyond 5% in any district, local restrictions must be imposed," said Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR in a press briefing on the Covid-19 status in the country by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
Stressing that complacency and fatigue against Covid-19 could prove costly, authorities also mentioned the "frightening" images of crowded hill stations, with people rushing to hill stations such as Manali, Kullu, Shimla and Dharamsala to beat the heat.
"I would like to highlight media coverage of revenge travel. People, fed up with sitting at home due to restrictions, now seem to believe that if restrictions have been lifted, it also means that the Covid virus has disappeared," said Lav Agrawal, joint secretary in the health ministry.
"But the virus is still circulating and we need to continue following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Even a small mistake could prove costly," he added.
The government also took to twitter to issue a warning to people.
"Manali can wait, But virus won't. Ensure that you maintain 2 gaj doori in order to keep yourself & others around you safe. Be responsible, stay protected!" said one of the government's official twitter handles.
"Slight relaxation in lockdown, and you all head to… mountains! The crowd in hotels today can lead to an increase in the crowd in hospitals tomorrow!" it further added.