Crowds without masks, social distancing at hill stations worrying: PM Modi

A health worker administers Covid-19 vaccine dose to a person, in Srinagar on Tuesday. Photo: PTI
Large crowds gathering in hill stations and markets without masks or social distancing is a cause of concern, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday. 

Interacting with the chief ministers of the eight north eastern states which are seeing high positivity rates, Modi said instead of asking when will the third wave come, the country needs to question how the third wave can be stopped. 

“Tourism and business activity have been greatly affected due to coronavirus... but it is not okay to have huge crowds in hill stations and markets without wearing masks,” Modi said.  He said many people want to enjoy themselves before the third wave comes. “It is important to understand that the third wave would not come on its own. We have to ask how to stop the third wave from coming,” Modi said. 

He said reduction in the overall daily number of cases should not lead to one becoming lax and letting one’s guard down. 

The PM will interact with chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Kerala on July 16 to discuss the Covid-related situation in these states. 

While addressing the CMs of north-eastern states, the Prime Minister said that events with huge crowds had to be avoided. He also asked the states to enlist the help of social, educational institutes, celebrities and the organisations of religious faith to encourage vaccination drive, especially in the areas where spread of the virus is expected.

Modi stressed on creating micro-containment zones wherever there is a surge in cases and make full use of the experience and best practices gathered over the last one and half years in tackling the virus. “If we take precautions we can control the spread. Experts are repeatedly warning against carelessness and crowding as they can lead to massive surge in cases,” he said.  

The eight states that were reviewed by the PM include Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram.  Modi also said there was a need to establish temporary hospitals due to the geographical situation of the northeast and assured all help from the Centre. “With collective efforts and citizens’ cooperation, we can keep the spread limited,” Modi said.

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