Coronavirus update: Ahead of the festive season, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava on Thursday made a fervent appeal to people to avoid non-essential travel and to observe a low-key festivity "at least this year".
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said people should celebrate festivals maintaining Covid 19-appropriate behaviour and avoid crowds. "It will be prudent to avoid non-essential travel and observe festivity at low-key at least this year," said Bhargava on the upcoming festival season at the weekly update on the coronavirus situation in the country.
"As festivals are approaching, we appeal to all to avoid crowds, maintain physical distancing and use a face mask. Celebrate festivals maintaining Covid 19 appropriate behaviour," added Bhushan.
Ahead of the festive season, the Centre asked the governments of states and Union territories to take adequate measures to ensure that a surge in Covid-19 cases is not seen after the celebrations.
The Union Home Ministry warned against complacency due to the recent drop in the number of cases. The Union Home Ministry directed all states and Union Territories to implement 'Prompt and Effective Measures' specified in a September 21 advisory issued in view of festivals, until October 31.
"The rate of positivity is coming down. This is the 13th week continuously when the weekly positivity rate stands below 3 per cent. But our target should be to bring down this rate further. The state governments must target this," said the Union Health Secretary.
He said 18 districts in India were reporting a weekly positivity between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, India reported 23,529 new cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today. India's active caseload stands at 2,77,020, which is the lowest in the last 195 days.