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Political rallies, religious gatherings super-spreaders of COVID-19: National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation


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NEW DELHI: As India recorded the highest-ever single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with over 1.84 lakh new cases on Wednesday, the chairman of the COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Dr NK Arora said political rallies, religious gathering and Kisan Andolan are super-spreaders of the disease.

Dr Arora's remarks come against the backdrop of the ongoing West Bengal assembly elections, Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and farmers agitation at the borders of the national capital.

Speaking to ANI, Dr Arora said, "What we can see is that youngsters are more careless. They believe in small gathering and organising parties. Also, we have seen social and religious gatherings, Kisan Andolan and political rallies. These all are super-spreaders of COVID. Unless these are stopped, no one can help us. We need to be very critical about all these and finally, I would say that these have to be done with all the support of political and implementing authority."

Without naming Kumbh Mela, Dr Arora categorically stated that any form of gathering micro or mega acts as a super spreader of covid-19.

He emphasised the need to impose lockdown as per the local situation. However, he did not favour a nationwide lockdown.

"We have the experience of the lockdown last year. We learned how to contain the disease. And, we have also learned how to re-energise our economy after the lockdown. When the numbers of cases are touching nearing two lakhs per day we must bank upon experience from the past. Reducing the transmission between people can be achieved through minimising the contact. We need to have lockdown in the selective region like part of a district," explained Dr Arora. Chairman, NTAGI said.

He stated the example of Maharashtra which has already imposed a partial lockdown for 15 days as the cases are increasing.

India reported 1,84,372 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, said the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday. With this, the total number of cases has gone up to 1,38,73,825.

In the last 24 hours, 1,027 COVID-related deaths were reported in the country taking the death toll to 1,72,085. The active number of cases stands at 13,65,704.

In the last 24 hours, 82,339 people recovered from the disease. With this, the total recoveries reached 1,23,36,036.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stands at 11,11,79,578 till today. 

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)