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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday stated that the “the third wave is inevitable and imminent” and asked the central and state governments to control mass gatherings. This comes on a day when the annual Rath Yatra began in Puri and amid talks of allowing the “Kanwar Yatra” in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

In a statement, IMA expressed concern over governments and people being complacent and engaging in mass gatherings, violating Covid protocols. Stating that mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for a third wave of the pandemic, IMA added that while tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervor are needed, but can wait for a few more months.

“Global evidence and the history of any pandemic suggest that the third wave is inevitable and imminent. However, it is painful to note that in this crucial time, when everyone needs to work for the mitigation of the third wave, in many parts of the country, both governments and the public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols. Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervour, all are needed, but can wait for a few more months,” it said.

“Opening up these rituals and enabling people without vaccination to go scot-free in these mass gatherings are potential super spreaders for the Covid third wave,” the IMA further said.

Based on the experience of the last one-and-a-half years of the war with the virus and the emerging evidence, it is obvious that by making the universal vaccination drive reach the maximum number of people and strictly following Covid-appropriate behaviour, people can face the third wave with confidence and mitigate its impact, the doctors’ body said.

Noting that it is the duty and responsibility of everyone at this moment to strictly enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour for a minimum of three more months, the IMA asked people to ensure that everyone near them gets vaccinated.

Tourism Minister Kishan Reddy appeals to tourists to follow Covid protocol

The government does not want to stop tourists but certain protocols must be followed to keep Covid at bay, Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Monday amid concerns about burgeoning crowds at popular hill destinations and other tourist spots.

Every individual must be a Covid warrior if the pandemic is to be defeated, Reddy, who is also minister for culture and DoNER (Development of North-Eastern Region), said while appealing to people to exercise caution, reported news agency.

“While this is the responsibility of the state governments, we have issued advisories to follow Covid protocol. The only way to stop Covid is through partnership with the general public. I appeal to all tourists on behalf of the government of India to follow protocols which have been placed for their own safety,” the minister told reporters during a visit to the National Archive of India.
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