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Government calls for vaccination, COVID-appropriate behaviour as festivals near

Coronavirus vaccination drive underway at a centre in New Delhi on September 16, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

As the festival season approaches, the government on Thursday cautioned against a spike in coronavirus infections, and stressed that the call of the hour is vaccine acceptance, maintenance of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, responsible travel and responsible festivities.

“Overall there is stabilisation in COVID-19 cases and Kerala has also reported drop in cases... In the coming two-three months, we need to be cautious that there is no upsurge... It is also the period of festivities and also when flu cases rise...we request everyone to be careful and retain the gain that we have achieved (in the pandemic management),” an official said at a press briefing.

Referring to the coming festivals, ICMR DG Balram Bhargava said, “...sudden increase in population density creates a very conducive environment for viral spread. If there is sudden increase in population density then the virus finds it very useful to spread, so the call of the hour is vaccine acceptance, maintenance of COVID-appropriate behaviour, responsible travel and responsible festivities.” The government said 20% of India’s adult population have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 62% have got at least one dose.

Thirty-four districts in the country are reporting a weekly positivity rate of over 10% and the figure is anything between five and 10% in 32 districts.

It said Kerala reported 67.79% of India’s total COVID-19 cases last week and that it is the only state with more than 1 lakh active cases.

“Overall there is stabilisation and Kerala has also reported drop in cases. Mizoram is a state of concern but we hope condition will improve there by fast vaccination and pandemic response is effective,” Niti Aayog member (health) V K Paul said.

“In the coming two-three months, we need to be cautious that there is no upsurge and it can be reduced when detected. When people estimate when vulnerability will rise then they indicate October and November as the months and it is also the period of festivities and also when flu cases rise so in coming quarter we request everyone to be careful and retain the gain that we have achieved,” he added.

With 30,570 more people testing positive for COVID-19, India’s overall infection tally has risen to 3,33,47,325, while the count of active cases has dipped to 3,42,923, according to the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.

The death toll due to the disease has climbed to 4,43,928 with 431 daily fatalities being recorded, according to data updated by the ministry at 8 am.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 6:29:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-updates-on-september-16-2021-by-health-ministry/article36494997.ece

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