New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed concern over people crowding at hill stations and markets without wearing masks or observing social distancing norms, as he chaired the COVID-19 virtual meeting with chief ministers from the eight northeastern states. During the meet, he urged all to guard against complacency to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus spread. He added,
It is true that tourism, business and business have been greatly affected due to coronavirus… but today I will say very emphatically that it is not okay to have huge crowds in hill stations and markets without wearing masks. Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister stressed the importance of adhering to basic COVID-19 rules – wearing of face masks when in public, avoiding large gatherings, and ensuring vaccination – to prevent a third wave of coronavirus in the country.
The virus does not come and go on its own… we bring it with us when we disobey the rules. Experts are warning us repeatedly that careless behaviour – like overcrowding – will lead to an increase in Covid cases, he added.
PM Modi further said,
Steps should be taken to prevent crowds… We all need to work together to stop the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister urged people to shun the argument that they “want to enjoy before the third wave of coronavirus”. He said,
It is important to make people understand that the third wave will not come on its own. The main question in our mind should be how to prevent the third wave and implement the COVID protocol strictly.
PM Modi also red-flagged the increase in cases in the northeastern states; last week central government data showed 47 of India’s 73 districts with a positivity rate of over 10 per cent were from the northeast.
The PM said stricter steps were needed at the micro-level to check the virus spread and called for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones. Noting the fast mutating nature of the coronavirus, the prime minister advised strict monitoring of the changes and keeping track of all variants.
The virtual meeting was attended by chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, as also by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, among others.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.