Consider local restrictions on festivals: Centre to states

New Delhi

The Centre on Wednesday advised the sta­tes and UTs to consider imposing local restrictions in public observation of upcoming festivals like Holi, Shab-e-Barat, and Easter among others and limit or do away with mass gatherings.

In a letter, Health Ministry additional secretary Arti Ahuja said the battle against Covid-19 is at a critical juncture, with rising cases and deaths being reported in states and UTs in the recent past. "In view of upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Bihu, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr, it is strongly advised states may consider imposing local restrictions in public observation of festiv­als and limit or do away wi­th mass gatherings,” she said.

Any laxity at this point in ensuring strict adherence to various SoPs by Health Ministry to contain the spread of Covid-19, may result in losing the impetus and benefits our country has gained so far in managing the virus, she said.

“Strict adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour in public places and gatherings is the key to break the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of cases in the country,” the secretary added.

Covid onslaught up

On the lockdown anniversary, Covid-19 onslaught didn’t show any slowdown on Wednesday as the daily infections shot up to 47,262 in 24 hours and deaths jumped to the highest in the year at 275 while the active caseload rose to 23,080 as against the day’s recovery slightly high at 23,907.

The death toll included 135 deaths in Maharashtra in 24 hours, followed by 53 in Punjab, 20 in Chhattisgarh and 11 in Kerala. The cumulative deaths in India reached 1,60,441, which is 1.37% of 1.17 crore infected so far. The active caseload nas gone up to 3.68 lakh which is 3.14% of total infections while the recovery is down at 95.49% with 1.12 crore discharged. The total vaccination reached 5.08 crore, with 23.47 lakh inoculated in 24 hours.

Virus Tidbits

- Gujarat govt has mandated for Maharashtra travellers to carry a -ve RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hrs.

- Kerala: 2,456 cases, 2,060 cured, 10 deaths in 24 hours; Gujarat: 1,790 cases, 1,277 recoveries and 8 deaths.

- 50 people can offer prayers at Nizamuddin Markaz mosque during festival, Centre tells Delhi High Court.

Consider local restrictions on festivals: Centre to states

Jaishankar: C introduced many variables into incredibly complex global situation

The coronavirus pandemic introduced many more variables into an incredibly dynamic and complex global situation and even brought out in the open the behaviour of states at times of stress, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.

Without specifically mentioning any country or incidents, the external affairs minister added power plays will continue on a changed playing field, noting concerns will reflect “recent experiences” and resulting an­x­i­eties and so will solutions.

Jaishankar was speaking at the WION global summit on 'Power Play in a Post Pandemic World'.

“Now, into an incredibly dynamic and complex global situation, the Covid pandemic has actually introduced many more variables. Not ju­st that, some actually came as a shock to the entire global system,” he said.

For example, he noted, the pandemic has raised fundamental concerns about the virtues of globalisation by bringing out the importance of reliable supply chains.

“It has also brought out in the open the behaviour of states at times of stress, thereby highlighting the more uncomfortable realities of global politics,” the minister said.

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