Low-key celebrations during festivals; no revenge travel: Govt’s message to nation on COVID-19

The Central government Thursday said India is still witnessing the second wave of coronavirus pandemic. At a press briefing, the Union Health Ministry said the second COVID-19 wave in the country is not over yet.

The government said 35 districts across the country were still reporting a weekly COVID-19 positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, while in 30 districts it is between 5 and 10 per cent.

In a development that is continuing to cause concern, Kerala is still reporting a very high number of coronavirus cases and last week, the state accounted for 68.59 per cent of the total COVID-19 cases reported across India.

“43,263 cases reported in last 24 hours, over 32,000 were from Kerala. Almost 68 per cent of the total cases last week were from Kerala. The overall declining trend is a little less than 50 per cent which was the case during the first wave. We’re still witnessing the second surge, it’s not over yet,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told the press.

‘Responsible travel should be practised’

Dr Balram Bhargava, from the Indian Council of Medical Research, said keeping the prevailing situation in mind, only “low key celebrations of festivals should be encouraged to avoid the spread” of the disease.

“Responsible travel rather than revenge travel should be practised,” he added, apparently referring to the crowds seen at holiday spots after the second wave ebbed in June.

Bhargava informed that they are developing a COVID-19 vaccine tracker with synergised data giving a week by week update of doses. “It will be up on the Health Ministry’s website in a few days’ time,” he stated.

Bhushan said the pace of vaccination and coverage is rapidly increasing across the country.

“The average per-day dose administered has increased from 20 lakhs in May to 78 lakhs in September. This number is expected to climb even higher,” he added.

“We’ve administered more vaccines in the first 7 days of September than in 30 days of May. 86 lakh doses were administered in the last 24 hours. We should increase the pace of vaccination before festivals. States and the Centre should work to vaccinate the vulnerable population,” the Health Secretary stressed.

‘Kids’ vaccination no pre-condition for schools’ reopening’

Importantly, the ministry said during the presser that vaccination of children has not been set as a pre-condition by any scientific body in the world before the reopening of schools.

“Vaccinating children is not a condition for reopening schools. This criterion is not acceptable anywhere in the world; no scientific body, epidemiological evidence suggests it as a condition… However, vaccination of teachers, staff and parents is desirable,” Dr Paul said.


The Dispatch is present across a number of social media platforms. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for exciting videos; join us on Facebook, Intagram and Twitter for quick updates and discussions. We are also available on the Telegram. Follow us on Pinterest for thousands of pictures and graphics. We care to respond to text messages on WhatsApp at 8082480136 [No calls accepted]. To contribute an article or pitch a story idea, write to us at [email protected] |Click to know more about The Dispatch, our standards and policies