New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern Tuesday over people crowding at hill stations and markets. He observed they were without wearing masks or observing social distancing norms. Narendra Modi urged all to guard against complacency to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus spread.
“If we remain cautious and take precautions we will be able to prevent the third wave. There should be no compromise in this,” Modi asserted. He also stressed that the vaccination drive needs to be continuously ramped up.
The prime minister was speaking during an interaction with chief ministers of eight Northeastern states through video conferencing. Modi said the Covid-19 situation was worrisome in some districts of the region. He urged the chief ministers to stay alert and act fast to check the further spread of the virus.
The PM said stricter steps were needed at the micro-level to check the virus spread. He called for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones. Modi talked about the fast mutating nature of the coronavirus. He advised strict monitoring of the changes and keeping track of all variants. Experts are studying the mutations and their impact and in such a scenario, prevention and treatment are critical, he said.
Modi emphasised that the utility of physical distancing, masks, vaccines is clear and the path of testing, tracking and treatment is a proven strategy.
“It is true that tourism, trade and business have been greatly affected due to the coronavirus. But today I will say with great emphasis that having huge crowds in hill stations, markets without masks and not following Covid protocols is a matter of concern and is not right,” Modi said. The prime minister urged people to shun the argument that they ‘want to enjoy before the third wave of coronavirus’.
“Kai baar hum ye tark sunte hain aur kuch log toh bada sina taan ke bolte hain ‘arey bhai teesri leher aane se pehle hum enjoy karna chahte hain’. Ye baat logon ko samjhana zaroori hai ki teesri leher apne aap nahi aayegi (Many times we hear the argument and some say it with great assertion that ‘we want to enjoy before the third wave comes’. It is important to make people understand that the third wave will not come on its own),” Modi said. “The main question in our mind should be how to prevent the third wave and implement the Covid-19 protocol strictly,” Modi added. The prime minister strongly advocated preventing avoidable gatherings.
The virtual meeting was attended by chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. Also present during the meeting was Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
In his remarks, Modi said that in the ‘vaccine for all-free for all’ campaign of the central government, the Northeast too has the same importance. He stressed the need to keep accelerating the vaccination process. He called for accelerating the vaccination drive in areas where the spread of the virus is expected.