New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the worries over the rise in the R Factor, the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday wrote to all states asking them to consider local restrictions during the upcoming festive season. The letter, written by the health secretary to the chief secretaries of all states, mentioned Muharram, Onam, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja as the occasions where state authorities should consider imposing curbs in order to stop these vents from becoming the cause of another outbreak.

These occasions are lined up from August to October starting with Muharram on August 19, Janmashtami on August 30, Ganesh Chaturthi on September 10 and Durga Puja between October 5 and October 15.

"Indian Council of Medical Research and National Centre for Disease Control have expressed concern regarding the potential mass gathering events during festivals turning into superspreader events, thereby, leading to a spike in Covid cases...I would like to reiterate that any laxity in ensuring strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and ensure Covid appropriate behaviour may result in losing the impetus that our country has gained so far in managing the pandemic," the letter said.

The government had earlier this week said that the second wave is delta-driven second wave is far from over and is still raging in some oaets of the country, The government had mentioned eight states including Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where the R factor is more than one, which is cause of worry.

"Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry are the eights states/UTs where the infection is spreading at a higher rate than the other states, the Centre has said

The Centre has sent its team to Kerala to probe into the rise of the cases. Another team has been sent to northeastern states, where the situation is equally worrying. The tens states where COVID situation has worsened lately: Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur.

Meanwhile, several states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh have made negative RT-PCR tests mandatory for specific travellers. Weekend lockdown, night curfews are also making a comeback in specific areas including Kerala and Bengaluru.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan