Keeping the upcoming festival season in mind, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday advised people to follow COVID-19 guidelines strictly during the phase, failing which the pandemic could once again raise its head and pose increased threats to the society.Dr Harsh Vardhan said this in his ‘Sunday Samvaad’ programme as the country gears up to celebrate Navratri, Dussehra in October and Diwali, along with Chatthh puja in the month of November.
It is important to note that the rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases has been on the decline in the country since the past few days. “If we falter in following COVID-19 guidelines during the festivals then corona can again assume a dangerous shape and become big trouble for us. This is the truth, in any religion, no dharmic leader will say that people’s lives should be put at risk to celebrate festivals. No God has said that one needs to go to puja pandals to worship,” the Minister said.
“Anyone can remember their God with a pure heart from anywhere. I would want people to celebrate their festivals with their family. Earlier also this used to happen, people used to celebrate festivals in small groups. I do not think there is any need for going to pandals and melas,” he added.The Union Minister, however, added that as per the people’s beliefs if people wanted to go to puja pandals, they should maintain ‘2 gaz ki doori’ (maintain social distancing), wear masks at all times and urge others to do the same.
“I am saying all this because being the country’s Health Minister, it is my duty to protect people’s lives,” he said.
With a spike of 74,383 new cases and 918 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 count crossed the 70-lakh mark on Sunday, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).According to the MoHFW, the COVID-19 count in the country is at 70,53,807, including 8,67,496 active cases.The number of cured and discharged or migrated patients has also crossed 60-lakhs and is at 60,77,977 in the country.With 918 deaths, the toll due to the disease now stands at 1,08,334 in the country.