The ministry of health and family welfare expressed serious concern over the weekly positivity rate in Mizoram, Kerala, Sikkim, Manipur and Meghalaya. Mizoram has been reporting the highest weekly positivity rate of 21.64%, followed by Kerala (13.72%), Sikkim (12.76%), Manipur (7.5%) and Meghalaya (5.84%).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a positivity of over 5% is a cause for concern. At present, 34 districts are reporting a positivity of over 10% and 28 districts between 5% and 10%. “This is a serious cause for concern. It shows that we cannot let out guard down, especially during the festival season,” said Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary (health). All 14 districts in Kerala have a positivity of over 5% (13 districts have over 10% and one between 5 and 10%). Other states that have districts with high positivity of over 10% include Sikkim (four districts), Meghalaya, Manipur (3 each), Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Puducherry (one each).
The health ministry said that the next three months were crucial for India’s fight against Covid-19. Taking the example of countries across the world, Aggarwal said, “United States, UK, Philippines, Netherlands, Russia — several countries are witnessing a surge in cases after unhindered public gatherings. We should be very careful. The festival season is beginning. We appeal to everyone to celebrate the festivals at home with their families. The next three months are crucial for India’s fight against the virus.”
The Centre unveiled slogans for public awareness over the next three months — ‘Teen Maheene ka Dridh Vichaar’, ‘Rahega Surakshit Poora Parivar’ and ‘We will share happiness, not virus!’ The government has flagged seven occasions where people must be wary of public gatherings. These include Dussehra (October 15), Navratri (October 7 to 15), Durga Pooja (October 11- 15), Eid (October 19), Diwali (November 4), Christmas (December 25) and New Year (December 31).