New Delhi | Pratyush Ranjan: Chhath Mahaparva 2021 has started with pomp and gaiety. It is a popular festival celebrated by the people of Purvanchal. Earlier, the festival was mostly confined to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, however, it is now celebrated all over India with joy. It is one of the major festivals mentioned in adigranth rigveda which promotes environment protection, disease prevention and discipline. People also head back home on the occasion of this special festival to celebrate it with their family and close friends.

However, in the wake of celebrating festivals, be it Diwali or Chhath, one of the main things which still need to be kept in mind is COVID-19 pandemic. For all those who are thinking the pandemic is over, it is not. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the protocol since coronavirus has not completely gone.

Dr. N.K. Arora, President, AIIMS Patna and Deoghar, says that the country has achieved an important milestone of 100 crore mark in vaccination in less than 10 months which is a remarkable achievement. He said that we could reach a large population only because of not just developing the vaccine but also manufacturing it in the vaccine in the country itself. And all this was made possible after a whole one-and-a-half years of strategic thinking and hard work.

Replying to a question, he said that our Corona Warriors administered vaccines in every corner of the country. But the strategy of the Government and the hard work of these warriors will work only if we become a little more understanding and cautious in the coming few months. The corona is not over yet, some states still have a high percentage of active cases. People have the weapon in the name of vaccine now but they will also have to take special precautions during the festival.

Those who have taken the first or second dose of COVID-19 also have to follow the coronavirus guidelines. Including social distancing, washing and sanitising hands, use of masks etc so that we can protect our surroundings from the infection.

Gorakhpur is the main city of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Dr. Surekha Kishore who is the Executive Director at AIIMS Gorakhpur, says that COVID-19 cases are currently low. However, he further clarified that this does not mean that the disease has ended. He suggested that whenever you leave the house, always wear a mask and don’t forget to not to use them. Follow the physical distancing norm and also sanitise your hands at regular intervals. Also, whenever you have time and convenience, wash your hands with soap and clean water.

Apart from this, one thing to keep in mind is not to gather in crowds at festivals. Try and celebrate festivals at home with family. As much as possible, go out of the house at least and do not spit outside at all. By following these rules, we can all be safe.

People from many cities are reaching Bihar and therefore, Dr. P.K. Singh, Director, AIIMS Patna, says that in a state like Bihar, people come from far and wide during the festive season. So, he suggests that come with your family to celebrate the festival but avoid using public transport this year. The festival will also take place next year and once the country conquers COVID-19, everyone will celebrate the festival together next year. We still need to be careful and for that people have to be motivated to follow COVID-19 compliant behaviour. If everyone has to go to public places during the festive season, make sure to wear masks. Follow the prescribed social distancing as much as possible. Those who are suffering from a serious or infectious disease should avoid going to public places.

Meanwhile, Dr. Saurabh Varshney, Director, AIIMS, Deoghar, Jharkhand said that COVID-19 still around us and we should not forget the experiences of the past. If there is a single COVID-19 patient, we should understand that the risk of infection is not averted. People have not met each other for a longtime, so there is bound to be some excitement but one needs to cautious as otherwise COVID-19 will get a chance to grow in the country again. Therefore, it is our wisdom that can prevent the chronic disease from spreading its wings again. For the last one and a half years, people have followed restraint but one doesn’t know at all which of the people entering your house is carrying virus. So avoid unnecessary travel even during the festival.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal