Mass congregation in festivals must be avoided, have to wait more to celebrate traditionally: Govt.
Coronavirus Update, News

Mass congregation in festivals must be avoided, have to wait more to celebrate traditionally: Govt.

September 3, 2021

New Delhi: Observing a spike in the daily cases of the COVID-19 for the past few days and festival seasons round the corner, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday cautioned the public on participating in the mass congregation.

The officials said that mass gatherings should be discouraged and full vaccination should become a priority, particularly in the upcoming festive season.

“Mass gatherings should clearly be discouraged and full vaccination should be a prerequisite if it is absolutely essential and critical to have a gathering of some people,” Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)  Director-General Dr. Balram Bhargava said while addressing a press briefing.

Dr. V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, also said that people should not grow complacent in the upcoming festive season.

“The time has not yet come to remove masks. This year too, festivals will be celebrated in the same way as they were celebrated last year. We have to wait more for festivals to be celebrated traditionally,” he added.

Dr. Paul also urged people to celebrate festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Navarathri, Eid etc., within their homes.

Meanwhile, the officials informed that 16 percent of the total adult population of this country has been fully vaccinated, while 54 percent have received at least one shot.

Booster shots 

On the subject of authorising booster shots of Covid-19 vaccines, Dr. Paul said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has given no recommendation for it and the issue remains unsettled.

“Booster dose is an unsettled issue globally. WHO has no recommendation on any booster dose as of now. Our scientific group is seized of the issue, they are looking at it systematically,” he added.

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Dr. N.K. Arora, Chairperson, COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), said during another discussion that India is waiting for scientific studies to determine the role of booster shots.

“Considering the data on antibodies development after administration of Covid-19 vaccines, it seems that the booster shots are not required now. However, research studies are underway which will guide us in determining when and how to inoculate boosters in the immunisation programme,” he added.

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