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3rd Wave Predictions Treated Casually Like “Weather Forecast”: Government

3rd Wave Predictions Treated Casually Like 'Weather Forecast': Government

Images of tourists thronging Himachal Pradesh amid the pandemic had shocked the country.

New Delhi:

The predictions about a third wave of Covid should be taken very seriously, the health ministry said today, pointing to news reports of people flocking to hill stations flagrantly flouting the safety norms. This is the third warning on the subject from the Centre. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pointed out this issue earlier – the second instance was at a meeting today.

“People are taking predictions about the third wave like weather prediction reports, very casually. The third wave predictions have to be taken very seriously,” said a senior official of the health minister during this evening’s official briefing.

“There was a news report which said that people claimed that they were feeling jailed so they came out of their homes,” he added.

Last week, images of tourists thronging Himachal Pradesh amid the pandemic had shocked the country.

Experts have been advising against large crowds ever since the pandemic reached India.

The two earlier waves of Covid — the first after gatherings during last year’s festive season and the second during Kumbh earlier this year — made it clear that the disease gets a fresh lease of life every time social distancing norms are violated.

PM Modi flagged the issue again today at a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers of the northeast states.

“It is true that tourism 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,” PM Modi said.

“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 said.

“Steps should be taken to prevent crowds… We all need to work together to stop the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.