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'Open invitation for COVID': Govt's warning after videos of overcrowding at tourists spots go viral

'Open invitation for COVID': Govt's warning after videos of overcrowding at tourists spots go viral

With COVID-19 restrictions relaxed in several states over the few weeks, Indians packed their bags and headed to popular tourists destinations such as Nainital, Mussoorie, Manali and Shimla to beat the heat of the plains

Over the last few days, several videos of people overcrowding at markets and tourist spots have emerged online Over the last few days, several videos of people overcrowding at markets and tourist spots have emerged online

Viral videos of people throwing COVID-19 precautions to the wind at popular tourists destinations in India have provoked the Centre to issue stern warnings and reminders.

With COVID-19 restrictions relaxed in several states over the few weeks, Indians packed their bags and headed to popular tourists destinations such as Nainital, Mussoorie, Manali and Shimla to beat the heat of the plains.

The Government said the virus, which has killed millions worldwide, has not left and too much laxity in following the defined protocols could lead to the third wave.

Over the last few days, several videos of people overcrowding at markets and tourist spots have emerged online. This is taking place at a time when fears of a COVID-19 third wave are looming large.

Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the health ministry, at a press conference, played videos of people discarding COVID-19 protocol at tourist spots of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Agarwal said that this behaviour is nothing but an "open invitation" for the virus to come and infect.

"Isn't this an open invitation for the virus to come and infect us?" asked Agarwal as visuals of tourists flouting norms at Mussoorie's Kempty Falls played in the background. "We are still dealing with the second wave of Covid-19. We need to continue the display of Covid-appropriate behaviour," Agarwal added.

Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul also gave a word of caution to the citizens during the press conference and said, "We cannot lower our guard. A new risk is being seen at tourist spots where a gathering of crowds being seen, social distancing and mask protocol is not being followed. This is a serious cause of concern".

A recent viral video shows hundreds of tourists bathing at the Kempty Falls in Mussoorie with complete disregard for COVID-19 protocols. In the video, not a single person could be seen wearing a face mask. While another video from a couple of days ago shows heavily crowded streets in Manali.

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Published on: Jul 09, 2021, 10:15 PM IST
Posted by: Mohammad Haaris Beg, Jul 09, 2021, 10:06 PM IST