After reporting an unprecedented rise in COVID cases in the summer, India is now witnessing a gradual drop in cases. Amid the decline, people are thronging tourist destinations without masks and social distancing. During an interaction with the chief ministers of eight North-Eastern states through video conferencing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this was a matter of concern and urged people to not compromise on COVID protocols to prevent a third wave of coronavirus.

“It is true that tourism and business have been greatly affected due to Corona. But today I will say with great emphasis that it is not right to have huge crowds in hill stations, markets without masks,” PM Modi said.

“We all need to work together to stop the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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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.

PM Modi also emphasised on keeping an eye on every variant of the coronavirus and said that experts are constantly studying how troubling the virus could be after mutations.

“We have to move forward by improving the infrastructure related to testing and treatment. For this, recently the cabinet has also approved a new package of Rs 23,000 crore. Every state in the North East can take help from this package to strengthen its health infrastructure,” Modi said.

Pointing out that the COVID-19 situation was worrisome in some districts of North-East, PM urged the chief ministers to stay alert and act fast to check the further spread of the virus.

Sikkim’s COVID-19 tally rose to 22,623 on Tuesday as 226 more people tested positive for the infection. Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday reported its highest single-day spike of 566 new COVID-19 cases.