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Avoid Large Gatherings While Celebrating Independence Day Amid Covid-19 Surge: Centre Issues Advisory

Avoid Large Gatherings While Celebrating Independence Day Amid Covid-19 Surge: Centre Issues Advisory

The Central government has advised the states to curtail large gatherings for Independence Day celebrations amid rising covid-19 cases in the country.

Covid-19: Rs 500 to violators of mask norms
Covid-19: Rs 500 to violators of mask norms Photo: PTI/Atul Yadav

As the country continues to record an average of over 15,000 coronavirus cases daily, the Centre has asked States to ensure there are no large gatherings for Independence Day celebrations and that everyone follows Covid protocols.

The Union Home Ministry has also conveyed to all States and Union Territories to carry out a 'Swachh Bharat' campaign at a prominent location of each district in the state and UT and carry out a fortnight and month-long campaign to keep its 'Swachh' through voluntary civil action.

What has the Centre advised?

In a communication, the ministry said, "As a precaution, against Covid-19, large congregations in the ceremony be avoided. It is imperative that Covid guidelines are followed".

The Centre has also urged people to wear masks, maintain social distancing and sanitize their hands to avoid infection.

The Home Ministry also asked government departments and educational institutions to carry out tree plantation programs to spread awareness for the conservation of the environment.

What is the current Covid-19 situation in India?

India added 16,561 new coronavirus cases taking the total tally of Covid cases to 4,42,23,557, while the active cases dipped to 1,23,535, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll climbed to 5,26,928 with 49 fatalities which include 10 deaths reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated. 

The active cases comprise 0.28 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.53 per cent, the ministry said.

A decrease of 1,541 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. 

The country crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23 last year. It crossed the four-crore mark on January 25 this year. 

Delhi tries to enforce the mask mandate

As the national capital witnessed a sharp rise in the number of COVID cases, shopkeepers are now ensuring that people coming to the markets wear masks and maintain physical distance. But doing so has not been without difficulties, as they complain that people are becoming complacent and not following protocols.

The Delhi government recently reiterated that wearing masks in public places is mandatory and a fine of Rs 500 is to be imposed on violators. Traders are concerned that if cases continue to rise, restrictions will be imposed on markets, which are still reeling under the compound effect of inflation and multiple covid waves.

Delhi on Thursday reported 2,726 fresh cases, the highest in nearly seven months, according to health department data. Markets are the first ones to be impacted because of restrictions. Ashok Randhawa, president of Mini Market Association, Sarojini Nagar said that traders have started taking precautions by pasting posters outside their establishments telling customers about the mask mandate.

(with PTI inputs)

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