The second wave of Covid, which caused an unprecedented number of infections in March-April, is not yet over, the government warned today, urging people to keep following precautions like avoiding crowds and wearing masks.
"The war is not over yet," said VK Paul, who heads the government's Covid task force, said at the Union Health Ministry press conference.
"The second wave is not over yet. There is still danger. It is necessary to keep following Covid protocol in order to close the second wave fully," he added.
At the briefing, a video of a huge maskless crowd at Mussourie's Kempty Falls was played out. The visuals from tourist spots are "a serious cause of concern" and such negligence causes virus spread, said the government.
"Is it not an open invitation to the virus to infect us," questioned Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Top officials said the country was not yet done with the second spike and "we need to introspect if we can afford misplaced belief that COVID-19 is over."
According to the government, 66 districts in the country reported more than 10 per cent positivity on Thursday. Most of the cases now are being reported from Maharashtra and Kerala.
"Fifty-three per cent of the cases are coming from Maharashtra and Kerala. Maharashtra (21%) and Kerala (32%). There are 86 districts with less than 100 daily cases. Eighty per cent of new cases are coming from 90 districts - indicating the need for focused attention in these areas," Mr Agarwal said.
Warning strongly against dropping one's guard even as large parts of India are emerging from strict lockdowns, the government pointed out that several countries, including the UK, Russia and Bangladesh, are witnessing a surge in infections.
"In the UK, during Euro 2020 matches, a sudden surge in cases was observed. During the second wave peak, 59,000 cases were recorded in the UK. Now the surge has been observed there. The UK is reporting 20,000 cases daily on an average," he said.
The country today reported 43,393 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, down from more than 400,000 in May.
With agency inputs