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COVID-19: Centre warns against crowding during upcoming festive season

The states may impose restrictions at the local level so that the crowd does not gather.

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The Central Government has once again warned the states about the coronavirus pandemic. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has sent a letter to the Chief Secretaries of the states, cautioning about the upcoming festive season in the letter.

Through this letter, the states have been asked not to allow crowds to gather during these festivals and ensure that people follow the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Suggestions have been made in the letter regarding Muharram on August 19, Onam on August 21, Janmashtami on August 30, Ganesh Chaturthi on September 10 and Durga Puja from October 5 to 15.

The states have also been told that there is a possibility of large crowd gathering during these festive seasons. Therefore, they may impose restrictions at the local level, so that the crowd does not gather. In view of the increasing coronavirus cases, a slight omission can become a major reason for the spread of infection.

This comes as India on Tuesday recorded 42,625 new COVID-19 cases, nearly 40% higher than the previous day's figures. 562 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the tally to 4,25,757. One of the worst affected states, Kerala reported 23,676 people testing positive for the virus on Tuesday, which is the highest single-day rise of cases in the country.

The fresh cases pushed the tally of infections to over 34.49 lakh and 148 deaths took the death count to 17,103. Maharashtra, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in India, recorded 6,005 new infections. After Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have the highest number of infections.

While the active cases have gone up to over 4.10 lakh, they form only 1.29% of the total infections so far. While the daily positivity rate is 2.3 %, the recovery rate is 97.37%. Meanwhile, over 62.53 lakh vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

Eight states have shown a rise in the R-factor, the government said on Tuesday, calling it a 'significant problem'. Eighteen districts showed an increasing trend in cases in the last four weeks, as per the government records. R factor indicates how many people are being infected by one person.

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