New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the waning second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Union Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research on Tuesday cautioned that people roaming in hill stations and markets without following COVID-19-appropriate behaviours can nullify the gains made in the management of the pandemic so far.

Stressing that the pandemic was not yet over, an official described the images of large numbers of people thronging popular hill stations as "frightening". The government said violations of Covid protocols will lead to a further increase in infections as it stressed wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.

"Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is absolutely essential. The pictures that we have seen today are frightening and we have to be very careful, very responsible and very cautious," ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava said at the health ministry's press conference.

Meanwhile, Joint Secretary Health, Lav Agarwal also spoke on the issue of people becoming complacent due to the waning second wave of Covid-19. "I would like to highlight media coverage of revenge travel. People, fed up with sitting at home due to restrictions, now seem to believe that if restrictions have been lifted, it means that the virus has ended. The infectious disease is still among us. We need to continue following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Even a small mistake could prove costly," Agarwal said.

The second wave of COVID-19 has come down in most states. However, some states are still in the midst of the second wave and the areas reporting a test positivity rate of over 10 per cent have to impose/reinstate restriction measures, he added further.

Agarwal said that as many as 73 districts across 17 states and union territories reported more than 10 per cent Covid positivity rate in the week from June 29 to July 5. A total of 91 districts in the country reported more than 100 daily new cases in the week ending July 4, he said.

Eighty per cent of Covid cases in India were reported from 90 districts across 14 states and union territories, indicating the need for focused attention in these areas, the official said.

With 553 fresh fatalities, India recorded the lowest daily death toll in around 90 days while 34,703 new cases of coronavirus were reported, the lowest in 111 days. With the fresh cases, the total tally of COVID-19 cases climbed to 3,06,19,932, while the death toll climbed to 4,03,281. The active cases further declined to 4,64,357, the lowest in 101 days, and comprise 1.52 per cent of the total infections.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan