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Unusual actions to tackle unusual situations- An urge to establish safety from the health minister

In the light of upcoming festivals and piling up casualties from COVID pandemic, health minister Harsh Vardhan, as per the Times of India, has called for an extra observance from devotees. He’s been reported to state that large gatherings at times like these can bring greater health concerns for the country.

“No religion calls for huge gatherings and celebrations”, he stated while on one of his interactions on social media with his followers, “Unusual situations demand unusual actions. No religion demands people to visit pandals and mosques to pray.” When asked about the usage of Covid vaccines in the midst of an emergency, the minister stated that the authorisation would be possible only when there is sufficient data on its safety and efficacy to ensure patient safety. Further courses will depend upon the data that is concluded.

For a faster and accurate diagnosis, Feluda test is planned to be launched that can deliver results in just 45 minutes and will be priced at Rs 500. With the onset of winter and the festival season, the government is concerned about the escalation in the COVID-19 cases even after the downslide of the active cases which is less than 9 lakhs for the last 3 days.

The health minister also added the possibility of increased transmission during the winter season. The minister reinstated the importance of wearing masks, maintaining personal hygiene and regular sanitization to contain the spread of disease. One the subject of prioritization on the distribution of vaccines on certain target groups, the health minister established that the delivery of the vaccines will be based on various factors such as the risk of exposure, comorbidities, and mortality rates across the cases. He also added that the COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation shall be done based on the occupational hazard and the risk of infection, and the risk of developing severe disease and increased mortality. He further dismissed the rumours of prioritizing the young and working class for vaccination for stabilizing the economic balance of the nation. He reassured that the delivery will strictly be based on the need of getting vaccinated, and is devoid of any strategy.

DDMA has laid down strict protocols for festivals to contain the spread of infection. It states that for any closed area of gathering, a maximum of 200 people or 50% will be allowed. The seating in the area will strictly be monitored and has to be carried out maintaining the social distancing norms. There will be a strict prohibition on food stalls, exhibitions, and shops. At all entrances, face masks and thermal screenings for entrees will be mandatory. Organizers are directed to submit unhampered video footages of daily events to respective nodal officers. The vulnerable population, i.e. kids and people above 65 years of age are to stay at home to steer clear from the disease.



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