NEW DELHI :
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed concern over people crowding at hill stations and markets without wearing masks or observing social distancing norms, as he urged all to guard against complacency to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus spread. “If we remain cautious and take precautions we will be able to prevent the third wave...there should be no compromise in this,” he said, while also stressing that the vaccination drive needs to be continuously ramped up. The Prime Minister was speaking during an interaction with chief ministers of eight North-Eastern States through video conferencing. Modi said the COVID-19 situation was worrisome in some districts of the region and urged the Chief Ministers to stay alert and act fast to check the further spread of the virus.
The PM said stricter steps were needed at the micro-level to check the virus spread and called for greater emphasis on micro-containment zones. Noting the fast mutating nature of the coronavirus, the Prime Minister advised strict monitoring of the changes and keeping track of all variants. Experts are studying the mutations and their impact and in such a scenario, prevention and treatment are critical, he said. Modi emphasised that the utility of physical distancing, masks, vaccines is clear and the path of testing, tracking and treatment is a proven strategy. “It is true that tourism, trade and business have been greatly affected due to the coronavirus. But today, I will say with great emphasis that having huge crowds in hill stations, markets without masks and not following COVID protocols is a matter of concern and is not right,” Modi said.