New Delhi: In view of rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Centre has asked the state government to consider imposing and enforcing local restrictions in public observation of upcoming Dahi Handi and Ganpati Utsav festivals and mass gatherings.

In a letter to the State Chief Secretary, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan cited the concerns of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Center for Disease Control regarding the potential of mass gathering events during festivals turning into super spreader events. He said, this is particularly important in view of circulation of more transmissible variants of concern being reported by various states including Maharashtra.

Mr Bhushan reiterated that any laxity in ensuring strict adherence to the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and Ensuring COVID Appropriate Behaviour, may result in losing the impetus that Maharashtra and the country has gained so far in managing the pandemic.

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