Lancet COVID-19 Commission's India Task Force has stated in a report that there should be a complete ban on indoor gatherings in the country for at least a period of two months. This measure can help in curbing the surge of infections in the country, the report states.
In its report, Lancet COVID-19 Commission's India Task Force has also attributed India's recent surge in COVID-19 cases to religious, political events (state elections), and social gatherings (resurgence of weddings, sporting events). "We strongly recommend a temporary ban on gatherings of groups larger than 10 for the next two months," states the Lancet Covid-19 Commission's India Task Force.
Even as the daily COVID-19 cases are reaching new heights, the Election Commission is yet to ban political rallies in the country. Campaigning for the ongoing assembly elections in four states and Puducherry have continued despite the massive surge in COVID-19 cases in India.
Maha Kumbh Mela in Uttarakhand is another event where large amount of people have gathered together despite the surge in COVID-19 cases. Reports from the Kumbh Mela has suggested that COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing face masks and practising social distancing are not being followed. The 'Pidakal War' in Kairuppala Village in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool also saw a large gathering with little to no regard for COVID-19 norms.
State governments are yet to ban weddings and funerals, though they have imposed limits on the number of people who can attend these functions.
The Lancet Covid-19 Commission's India Task Force underscored the negative impact of these public events in that past. They have acknowledged that these events can be disruptive.
"We believe that public health concerns need to override any other considerations, given the risk of infection, morbidity, and mortality," the report reads.
The India Task Force has called for greater vigilance for monitoring surges in infections, especially in districts from where people had attended such public events.
The Lancet Covid-19 Commission's India Task Force has requested the closure of all movie theatres, sports arenas, stadiums, indoor halls where more than 50 people can gather. It suggests that these places should be closed for the next two months of April and May.