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Low key celebration of festivals should be encouraged to avoid spread, says ICMR amid COVID-19 third wave fear

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), ahead of major festivals beginning with Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Dusshera, has urged people to go in for low-key celebrations to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Centre also said that the country is still in the grip of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava, while addressing a ministry of health and family welfare briefing, said that people also should also practice responsible travel instead of aggressive revenge travel.

“Low key celebrations of festivals should be encouraged to avoid the spread. Responsible travel rather than revenge travel should be practised,” said Bhargava.

Meanwhile, ahead of the festivals, several state governments including Tamil nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and the government of Union Territory Delhi have issued orders restricting the public celebrations of the Ganesh Chaturthi.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan added to the concerns and said that 60.98 percent of the total active COVID-19 cases in India were from Kerala and of the 43,263 COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours, over 32,000 cases are from Kerala.

“The overall declining trend is a little less than 50 percent which was there in the first wave. Were are still witnessing 2nd surge; its not over,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

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India on Friday recorded 34,973 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 3,31,74,954. The death toll climbed to 4,42,009 with 260 people succumbing to COVID-19, out of which Kerala and Maharashtra continue to report maximum number of infections daily, as per the Union Health Ministry data.