Embrace vaccination: Health ministry to Indians ahead of festival season
- The Union Health Ministry led by Secretary Rajesh Bhushan held a press briefing on Thursday
- The centre stressed on COVID-appropriate behavious and full vaccination
- It asserted that 16% of India's adult population have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Ahead of the festive season in the country, the centre has urged citizens to get fully - two doses - vaccinated if they want to attend mass gatherings. The Union Health Ministry led by Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, on Thursday, held a press conference as as the threat of a third COVID-19 wave looms over India.
The festive season in India begins from Navratri, which is October 7 this year. Dussehra and the Diwali are the major events that follow the nine-day festival.
“Follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and embrace vaccination,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said while addressing a press briefing. The ministry said that mass gatherings should be discouraged and full vaccination against COVID-19 should be a prerequisite if attending is essential.
It further warned the second wave of coronavirus infection in India was not yet over even though the weekly positivity rate was showing an overall declining trend.
The Centre said that 39 districts in the country reported over 10% weekly COVID positivity rate in the week ending August 31 while in 38 districts it was between 5 and 10%.
It asserted that 16% of India's adult population have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine while 54% have been administered at least the first dose.
"In Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Himachal Pradesh all the adult population have got at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine," the government said.
In view of the upcoming festive season amid the scare of the third wave of COVID-19 infections striking the country, the Centre said mass gatherings have to be discouraged and full vaccination should be a prerequisite if attending such a congregation is essential.
"People should celebrate festivals at home, follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and embrace vaccination," the government said.
It added that about 300 cases of delta plus variant of SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in India so far.
India recorded 47,092 new COVID-19 cases and 509 deaths in the last 24 hours, said Union Health Ministry data released on Thursday. This takes India's COVID tally to 3,28,57,937 total cases while the death toll is at 4,39,529.