Govt raises concerns over gross violations of COVID-19 guidelines

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said the third wave of COVID-19 can be seen in some parts of the world and warned of a similar outcome if COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is not followed by the public.

NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul, in a press conference, said globally, the third wave of COVID-19 is being seen, and people should make efforts to ensure that it does not happen in India.

In recent weeks, a large number of tourists were seen at hill stations, raising worries of further transmission of the virus.

Joint Secretary of Health Ministry Lav Aggarwal, who was also present in the press conference said people are talking about the third wave as a “weather update” but fail to obey the guidelines which are must to prevent further waves.

Mr Aggarwal said 55 districts have reported a positivity rate of more than 10 per cent in the week ending July 13.

Approximately 73.4 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases in first two weeks of July were from Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

He said central teams have been rushed to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Meghalaya, Odisha, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura to tackle the situation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted virtually with the Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern states over the COVID-19 situation as several districts in these states were recording a high positivity rate.

As per the official data, a total of 37 districts in northeastern states have recorded more than 10 per cent positivity rate last week.

The Prime Minister strongly cautioned against crowding at hill stations without taking proper precautions.

Rejecting the argument that people want to enjoy before the arrival of the third wave, he said that this need to be understood that the third wave will not come on its own and the main question in the mind should be how to prevent the third wave.

India is at the narrowing end of the second wave of COVID-19 as it recorded 37,154 new cases and 2,020 more fatalities in the last 24 hours.

At the peak of the wave, the fresh cases have crossed the 4 lakh mark.

On the vaccination front, as per the official data, so far 5.5 per cent of the total population has received both doses of the vaccine while 22.4 per cent of one dose.

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