New Delhi: As he met his new council of ministers a day after the Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the photos and videos of crowded places and people without masks should instill a sense of fear. ‘This is not a time for complacency or carelessness,’ the prime minister said, adding that a single mistake would have far-reaching consequences and would deteriorate the fight against Covid-19.
He has made this warning as the union health ministry also expressed its concern about people engaging in so-called ‘revenge travel’ when the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over and the threat of a 3rd wave looms large. In a statement Tuesday, the ministry described pictures of people thronging hill stations as ‘frightening’, with more than 10% of 73 districts of 17 states reporting positivity. In addition to Shimla and Mussoorie, local markets in Delhi and Mumbai are also crowded with people.
Prime Minister Modi expressed concern at the persistently high number of cases of Covid-19 being reported from Maharashtra and Kerala, noting that we should not instill fear, but to encourage people to keep taking all necessary precautions in the future.
Although the second wave of the pandemic, which peaked in April and May, is now on its way out, experts warn that the third wave might be inevitable in India. As the northeastern states report a higher rate of test positivity, Kerala and Maharashtra are also failing to decline below a certain point. Covid-19 cases in India spiked after 55 days on Thursday. The number of new infections reported on Thursday (45,892) also exceeded the number of recoveries reported in the same period (44,291), bucking the recent trend of higher recoveries and lower daily infections.