Health ministry warns Indians over Covid surge in festive & wedding seasons
"Please watch your October, November, December," a senior Health Ministry official warned people on Thursday about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence during the coming festival and wedding season, and advised them to avoid crowded places and celebrate festivals virtually.
Asserting repeatedly that the second wave of the pandemic is not over, the government said that though the situation is plateauing, the country is still reporting as high as 20,000-odd new infections every day.
"We cannot take the current stable situation for granted. We have to be mindful of the fact that the pandemic is going on and can take an untoward turn if we are not careful," an official said at a joint media briefing.
Warning people about the threat of COVID-19 resurgence during the coming festival and wedding season, Health Ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said, "Please watch your October, November, December."
He advised people to avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel and to stay home, celebrate festivals virtually and explore online modes of shopping.
The government said that Kerala recorded 50 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in the country last week.
Kerala has over over lakh active cases currently and the figure in four other states is ranging between 10,000 and 50,000.
It said five states -- Mizoram, Kerala, Sikkim, Manipur and Meghalaya -- are reporting a weekly positivity rate of over five per cent.
Thirty-four districts across nine states and union territories are reporting a weekly positivity rate of more than 10 per cent, according to the government.
Twenty-eight districts across 12 states and UTs are reporting a weekly positivity rate between 5 and 10 per cent.
The government said 71 per cent of India's adult population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 27 per cent have got both doses.
Listing its preparations to tackle any surge in coronavirus infections, the government said 8.36 lakh hospital beds are currently available in the country for COVID-19 patients, in addition to nearly one million isolation beds in dedicated care centres.
It said 4.86 oxygen-supported beds and 1.35 lakh ICU beds are available. "We are prepared to face a daily surge of 4.5-5 lakh COVID-19 cases," an official said.
The official said there is no issue of vaccine availability in the country now.
With 22,431 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,38,94,312, according to the Union Health Ministry's data updated on Thursday.
The death toll climbed to 4,49,856 with 318 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.