Avoid Non-Essential Travel, Observe Low-Key Festivity: ICMR

Ahead of the festive season, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava on Thursday made a fervent appeal to people to avoid non-essential travel and to observe a low-key festivity “at least this year”.

The Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that people should celebrate festivals maintaining COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and avoid crowds.
“It will be prudent to avoid non-essential travel and observe festivity at low-key atleast this year,” said Bhargava on the upcoming festival season at the weekly briefing of the COVID-19 situation of the country.

“As festivals are approaching, we appeal to all to avoid crowds, maintain physical distancing and use a face mask. Celebrate festivals maintaining COVID19 appropriate behaviour,” added Bhushan.

Ahead of the festive season, the Centre asked governments of states and Union territories to take adequate measures to ensure that a surge in COVID-19 cases is not seen after the celebrations.

The Union Home Ministry warned against complacency due to the recent drop in the number of cases.

Union Home Ministry directed all states and Union Territories to implement ‘Prompt and Effective Measures’ specified in a September 21 advisory issued in view of festivals, until October 31.

The rate of positivity is coming down. This is the 13th week continuously when the weekly positivity rate stands below 3 per cent. But our target should be to bring down this rate further. The state governments must target this,” he added.

The Health Secretary said that 18 districts in India are reporting a weekly positivity between 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, India reported 23,529 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today.

India’s active caseload stands at 2,77,020, which is the lowest in the last 195 days. The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.82 per cent, the lowest since March 2020. (ANI)

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