The Centre on Wednesday asked all states and union territories to actively consider imposing local restrictions for upcoming festivals including Janmashtami, Muhurram, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Durga Puja and curb mass gatherings.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to chief secretaries and administrators of all states and UTs, stating that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have expressed concern regarding the potential of such mass gatherings on festivals turning into super spreaders, leading to a spike in Covid cases.
Bhushan said even though the trajectory of daily new cases has shown a steady decline over the last month, there are a few states which still reflect signs of upsurge in their daily cases and positivity.
In this regard, he urged the states and UTs to refer to the directions issued under the Disaster Management Act by the Home Ministry on June 29 for focussed containment measures.
"In light of this order, and in view of upcoming festivals such as Muharram (August 19), Onam (August 21), Janmashtami (August 30), Ganesh Chaturthi (September 10), Durga Puja (October 5-15), where large public gatherings are expected, it is advised that states may actively consider imposition of local restrictions in public observation of these festivals and curb mass gatherings," Bhushan said in his letter.
"The ICMR and NCDC have expressed concern regarding the potential of mass gathering events during festivals turning into super spreader events, thereby leading to a spike in Covid cases," he said.