Opening India’s tourist destinations and allowing pilgrimage travel could act as COVID-19 “super spreaders” of a third wave of infections, the country’s top doctor’s body warned on Monday.
After a catastrophic second wave, driven largely by the more infectious and dangerous Delta variant, ravaged the country’s health system, India is now reporting roughly a tenth of its peak daily numbers in May.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
But experts worry that a third wave of infections is not far off as travel restrictions are eased in various parts of the country.
On Monday, the Indian Medical Association, India’s top doctor’s body, appealed to state governments and citizens to not lower their guard against COVID-19, saying a third wave was inevitable.
“It is painful to note, in this crucial time... in many parts of the country, both government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following COVID protocols,” the IMA said in a press release.
The comments from the IMA echoed those from senior government officials, who have urged citizens to avoid crowding at tourist places and cautioned that the second coronavirus wave is not yet over.
“Tourist bonanza, pilgrimage travel, religious fervor are all needed, but can wait for few more months,” the IMA said, adding that opening up for these rituals and enabling unvaccinated people to go to these mass gatherings are “potential super spreaders for the COVID third wave.”
India on Monday reported 37,154 new COVID-19 cases and 724 new deaths in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed, compared to the peak of over 400,000 infections a day in May.
The country has reported a COVID-19 death toll of over 408,000, the third highest in the world.
The pace of India’s vaccination drive has also slowed down, with roughly 8 percent of the 950 million eligible adult population fully vaccinated. The country had vaccinated 3.7 million people on Monday as of 1240 GMT.
Parts of India sink deeper into debt as COVID-19 wipes out workAsha Devi doesn’t remember how many meals she has skipped as she struggles to feed her family of seven in a remote corner of northern India where the ... Coronavirus
India’s COVID death toll hit record in June after calls for more accurate dataIndia’s COVID-19 deaths relative to infections hit a record high in June after cases peaked in early May, an analysis of government data shows, amid ... Coronavirus
India's Bharat Biotech says COVID-19 vaccine 93.4 pct effective in Phase-III trialsPhase-III trials of a vaccine made by India's Bharat Biotech showed it was 93.4 percent effective against severe symptomatic COVID-19, the firm said ... Coronavirus
India’s death toll from COVID-19 crosses 400,000India reached the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, half of them during a second wave in the past few months that ... Coronavirus
India’s Modi urges people to get vaccinated amid Delta COVID-19 variant concernsIndia’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people on Sunday to overcome their hesitancy and get COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible, as concerns ... Coronavirus
Indian states need greater financial aid from federal government: S&P reportIndian states’ weaknesses outweigh their strengths as they battle the pandemic and they need financial support from the federal government, which is ... Economy