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Alarmed at packed tourist places, MHA cautions states: 2nd wave not over yet

Ministry officials said that while the overall case positivity rate may be declining, the case positivity rate in certain districts of Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh is over 10%, which is a cause for concern.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: July 11, 2021 9:14:14 am
Alarmed at packed tourist places, MHA cautions states: 2nd wave not over yetHeavy rush of tourists at Ridge in Shimla on Saturday. (Express photo by Pradeep Kumar)

With people thronging tourist destinations without giving much attention to Covid-appropriate behaviour, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday held a meeting to address the challenge and reminded the states that the second wave of the pandemic was not yet over.

Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, chaired the meeting with top officials of States which have tourist locations or hill stations.

“During the meeting, the overall management of Covid-19 situation and the vaccination status in respect of the States of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal was discussed. Union Home Secretary sounded a note of caution in view of media reports showing blatant disregard of Covid-appropriate behaviour in hill stations and other tourist locations. He emphasised that the second wave of Covid was not yet over; and States should ensure strict adherence to the protocols prescribed in respect of wearing of masks, social distancing and other safe behaviour,” an MHA statement said.

Ministry officials said it was observed that the decline of the second wave is at variable stages in different States/UTs in the country, and that while the overall case positivity rate may be declining, the case positivity rate in certain districts of Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh is over 10%, which is a cause for concern.

“States were also asked to follow the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and COVID Appropriate Behaviour, as has been laid out in the MHA order dated 29th June, 2021. Adequate health infrastructure preparedness (especially in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas) was also advised, with a view to tackle any potential future surge in cases,” the MHA statement said.

The meeting was attended by Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog; Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research; and Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Principal Secretaries (Health) of the eight States.

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