New Delhi [India], October 18 (ANI): Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday urged the citizens to be mindful of their role in defeating COVID-19 during upcoming festivities.
"This Navratri I urge you to be mindful of your role in defeating COVID-19. As we bow down in prayer, we must keep the sacrifice of lakhs of Corona warriors in our thoughts, those who've lost their lives and those who're battling the dreaded disease to save us," he said as he answered many inquisitive social media interactors on the sixth episode of 'Sunday Samvaad'.
He exhorted citizens to honour the Prime Minister's call for 'Jan Andolan' and religiously follow COVID appropriate behaviour reiterating that celebrations must be limited to homes and practised in a traditional fashion.
"I have decided to keep my celebrations subdued. There is so much suffering across the world due to the pandemic. We must all let charity take precedence, donate with a large heart to the underprivileged," Dr Harshvardhan added.
Answering a question on the discrepancy in the number of COVID-19 deaths across India, he said, "the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has taken up the issue of correct certification of COVID-19 deaths with all States and UTs on multiple instances and has also shared a proper modality of reporting of deaths with them to ensure consistency in reporting of COVID-19 related deaths across India."
Commenting on the issue of reckless celebrations of Onam in Kerala in the times of COVID-19, the minister said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is being reported in the state due to gross negligence by the people of the state.
Noting that between January 30-May 3, Kerala had reported just 499 cases and two deaths due to COVID-19, he regretted that Kerala was paying the price of gross negligence during the recent Onam festivities when state-wise unlocking of services, along with an increase in inter and intrastate travel for trade and tourism, led to the spreading of COVID-19 cases in various districts.
"Epidemic curve of Kerala changed completely due to Onam festivities across the state, the daily new cases nearly doubled." The Minister said this ought to serve as a good lesson for all the state governments which were being negligent in planning for the festival season. (ANI)