Amid COVID-19 and dengue scare, Uttar Pradesh bans installation of idols at public places on Ganesh Chaturthi

New Delhi: As the threat of third COVID-19 wave looms large, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday (September 9) banned the installation of idols at public places on Ganesh Chaturthi, PTI reported.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, where he directed officials to ensure that no Ganesh idol is installed at public places and people celebrate the festival at home, a government spokesman said.

The UP CM also asked the officials to check that no unnecessary crowding happens at any place during the festival. “The CM said all necessary arrangements should be made for the festival and religious beliefs of people be given due respect,” the spokesman added.

Uttar Pradesh logged 11 new COVID-19 cases and no fresh fatality, which pushed the total tally to 17,09,503 while the death toll stood at 22,863, according to official statement issued on Thursday. Out of the 11 fresh coronavirus cases, three have been reported from Gorakhpur and one each from Allahabad, Gautam Budhnagar, Lucknow, Jalaun, Maharajganj, Varanasi, Auraiya, Mathura. There are currently 199 active COVID-19 infections in the state.

Meanwhile, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) chairperson Dr N K Arora emphasised COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is important during the forthcoming festive season. Arora warned that the third wave of COVID-19 can hit the nation if any new mutation emerges during this festive season.

Apart from COVID-19, UP is also combatting dengue which has led to several deaths. Identifying the cause, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava said the majority of deaths in Mathura, Agra and Firozabad districts of Uttar Pradesh were due to dengue fever caused by D2 strain. “Deaths in Mathura, Agra and Firozabad are due to dengue fever caused by D2 strain, which can cause haemorrhaging that could be fatal,” ANI quoted him as saying. Experts say that dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2 or D2) is known to be the most virulent strain and can cause severity in disease.