The health ministry has expressed serious concern over crowding at tourist destinations and markets across the country and has urged local administrations to enforce Covid norms. Ministry officials said that people’s behaviour was an open invitation for the virus to spread infection.
V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, said the second wave was not over and the country couldn’t afford to lower its guard and behave irresponsibly. The war is not over and cases were still rising in Maharashtra, Kerala and the North-Eastern states, he said. Citing the rise in cases in Europe, Southeast Asia and neighbouring countries, Paul said these countries had the situation under control but saw a resurgence with cases per million rising steeply.
Maharashtra and Kerala accounted for 53% of the country’s cases. Daily cases in Maharashtra had gone up from 6,740 daily cases on July 6 to 9,083 cases on July 9. Kerala’s daily cases rose from 8,037 to 13,772 cases on July 9. Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura and Mizoram had large number of districts with positivity rate more than 10%. There are 66 districts in the country reporting more than 10% cases.
According to Paul, the country was still not safe and was far away from the base line. This would be when daily cases would go under 10,000. The country was still reported 40,000 plus daily new cases with 43,393 cases reported on July 9. People were freely mixing and mingling without masks and social-distancing, making it easy for the virus to spread, he said.