Flouting social distancing norms and crowding to nullify gains against Covid: Health Ministry

These districts are in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Puducherry and West Bengal.

The health ministry has warned that all the gains made in the fight against the second wave of the pandemic in the country would be nullified if revenge travel to hill stations and overcrowding in markets without masks and flouting social distancing norms continued.

Balram Bhargava, director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research, said the pictures coming from hill stations and markets were frightening. He reminded people that 73 districts in India were still reporting a positivity rate of more than 10% and some states were still in the midst of the second wave. There were 65 districts in the country with a test positivity rate between 5% and 10%. He urged people to be cautious, careful and responsible as the virus was still around.

There was a need to keep a close watch at test positivity levels so that restrictions could be imposed if test positivity crossed the 10% levels, Bhargava suggested. Testing will have to continue to track the trajectory of the virus and guide public health response. The country has been carrying out 1,400 tests per million with daily tests at 18 lakh and this level of testing would have to be maintained, Bhargava said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, health ministry, said there have been gross violations of the Covid protocol, with people travelling without masks and not maintaining physical distance, which would be an invitation for the virus to return. The easing of restrictions does not mean giving up on Covid-appropriate behaviour and indulging in unsafe travel, Agarwal said. Quoting a recent survey, he pointed out that 83% of those surveyed were not complying with Covid appropriate behaviour while travelling.

The country was reporting 34,703 daily new cases with total active cases at 4.64 lakh. At present nearly 80% of the new cases in India are being reported from 90 districts indicating the need for focused attention in these areas. These districts are in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Puducherry and West Bengal.

The health ministry said there have been cases of Avascular Necrosis reported in patients who have recovered from Covid. Avascular Necrosis is caused by blood clots and thrombosis which blocks the supply of blood to bone tissues causing bones to break. Blood thinners and anti-coagulants were suggested treatments for these patients.

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