New Delhi: While expressing worry over the sight of tourists violating the COVID-19 norms at hill stations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for the need to follow Covid protocols to prevent a potential third wave of coronavirus.
“It is true that tourism and business have been greatly affected due to the pandemic. But today I will say with great emphasis that it is not right to have huge crowds in hill stations, markets without masks,” PM Modi said during a meet with the Chief Ministers of the North-Eastern states.
“We need to encourage people to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour”, he added.
Recently, photos and videos of thousands of people thronging the streets of popular tourist destinations, without masks and minimal social distancing, were doing rounds on social media. They were heavily criticized for their reckless behavior as experts believe India is still not out of the grasp of the deadly second COVID-19 wave.
With the danger of devastating third-wave looming on the country, PM Modi also underlined the need of accelerating the vaccination drive. He also said, “we all need to work together to ward off the potential third wave of infections”.
The virtual meeting was attended by chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram, as also by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, among others.
PM Modi also urged the chief ministers to keep a close eye on the variants of the coronavirus. He said, experts are studying the potential of the virus mutations, but in such a dynamic situation, prevention and treatment are crucial.
“We have to move forward by improving the infrastructure related to testing and treatment. For this, recently the cabinet has also approved a new package of Rs 23,000 crore. Every state in the North East can take help from this package to strengthen its health infrastructure,” PM Modi said.
While most parts of the country have seen a steady decline in the Covid numbers, the northeast region has been a cause of concern with the number of cases either rising or not falling in line with the nationwide trend, experts have noted.
The PM called for stricter steps and stressed micro-containment zones to curb the spread of the virus.
The Prime Minister urged the eight chief ministers to stay alert and take swift actions to check the further spread of the virus.
(With Inputs from Agency)