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'No God Says Gather in Large Numbers to Prove Faith': Harsh Vardhan's Advice Ahead of Festive Season

Devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. (Reuters)

Devotees celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai. (Reuters)

Kerala and states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana reported 50-60% of all their Covid-19 cases after Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam festivities, says a report by SBI.

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Sneha Mordani

In an attempt to underscore the point about the possibility of a post-festive surge, the government has once again warned that all the achievements vis-a-vis keeping Covid-19 under control may come undone if we allow prevention fatigue to set in.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, in his fifth episode of Sunday Samvaad, said: “No God or religion demands of us to celebrate a festival ostentatiously and congregate in huge numbers to prove our faith. Concerns are that despite a detailed festivals SoP being issued by the central government, there could be lapses that would lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases.”

In Kerala, for example, the number of new Covid-19 cases ballooned in the last one week. Data shows that almost 60% of the active cases in Kerala were added in the past one week with 9,250 cases registered in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. On Saturday, 11,755 new cases were added. Onam festivities between August 22 and September 2 have contributed to this surge.

The natural drawn conclusion is that people have lowered their guard.

Not just Kerala, other states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana reported 50-60% of all their Covid-19 cases after these festivals in August, says a report by SBI.

“States which have celebrated festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam saw a significant increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths as people moved out for celebrations. This increases the worry of jump in cases in West Bengal after the Durga Puja celebrations in October if precautions are not taken,” the SBI said in its report.

A detailed set of guidelines have also been put out by the Union Health Ministry on what to do and how to celebrate during these times without throwing caution out of the window.


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