By Shalini Bhardwaj
New Delhi [India], July 9 (ANI): Amid the rising laxity after easing COVID restrictions and several people flouting norms while overcrowding tourist destinations, Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog on Friday said that the war against the virus is not over yet.
Raising a serious concern over the issue, Dr Paul during a press briefing said, "The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and people should follow COVID appropriate behaviour. The war is not over yet. We cannot lower our guard."
After witnessing a decline in COVID-19 cases many states have eased travel restrictions and other public activities. At many tourists places gathering of huge crowds have been reported.
The top official has warned that India has not even touched the baseline of declining COVID-19 cases.
"We are continuously disseminating the same message to follow appropriate behaviour. The virus can spread faster," said Dr Paul, who is also a key member of Centre's Covid task force.
Dr Paul also said that some foreign countries' per million scale of cases is already higher than our peak at the moment.
"I want to emphasise on two things: those countries where situation was under control too are reporting highest cases, so we can't lower our guards. There is an increasing negligence among people specifically at tourist destinations. People are in the mood of relaxation and recreation at these places and that particularly when there is risk of COVID. Infection has always spread faster in crowded places. Tourism should be there, but if we are irresponsible and don't follow COVID appropriate behaviour, the virus can spread faster," he said.
Meanwhile, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said, "We are still dealing with second wave. If we will not follow COVID appropriate behaviour then we will infect our near and dear ones also."
India reported 43,393 new COVID-19 cases, 44,459 recoveries and 911 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry on Friday.
With this, total cases mounted to 3,07,52,950 including 4,58,727 active cases and 2,98,88,284 recoveries.
The death toll is 4,05,939 including the new deaths. (ANI)