Hyderabad: Telangana in the last seven months made considerable progress in containing Covid-19 and people should not fritter away the advantage by lowering their guard particularly during the festive season.
The Health Department on Sunday urged people to celebrate the festival season responsibly within their homes and contribute towards containing the threat of a fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic across Telangana. The ongoing Bathukamma festival followed by Dasara, Diwali and Christmas all entail mass gathering of people at places of worship and commercial establishments for shopping, which provide ideal conditions for the SARS-CoV-2 to thrive and trigger fresh clusters of Covid-19 outbreaks, health officials cautioned.
Speaking to mediapersons here, Director of Public Health, Telangana State, Dr G Srinivasa Rao, pointed out that in the last seven months, Telangana made a lot of progress in containing the spread of Covid-19. “Compared to other States, people in Telangana have been very religious about following Covid-19 guidelines. However, the next four months are going to be crucial and we should do our best not to fritter away the gains made in the last months. We urge families to celebrate festival within their homes and avoid mass gatherings,” Dr. Rao said.
He cited the example of Kerala which during the Covid-19 outbreak managed to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 but now is struggling with the spread of the epidemic. “After the month-long Onam festivities, Kerala is now experiencing a rampant rise in Covid-19 cases. On a daily basis, at least 10,000 positive cases are getting reported there. We are witnessing similar outbreaks in UK, Germany and in European Union and must learn from such mistakes,” he said.
The public health official said that 70 per cent of the Covid-19 positive cases in TS were asymptomatic which makes it important for all to follow Covid-19 guidelines strictly.
“Bathukamma is literally the main festival of Telangana. However, we must acknowledge that if we stay alive, we can celebrate the festival next year. A life lost due to Covid-19 during Dasara festival will bring a lot of grief to families. With so many asymptomatic cases, it will be very difficult to contain SARS-CoV-2, if large number of people gather at one place for Bathukamma, Dasara, Diwali and Christmas,” he said.
Director of Medical Education (DME), Dr K Ramesh Reddy said that apart from the festival season, the winter season also could trigger a rise in Covid cases. “We have observed and learned from the experiences of other States. Now is the time to implement those lessons and ensure we are not undoing the progress that we made in containing Covid-19 in TS,” he said.
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