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Farmers’ protest, events behind Punjab surge: Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said the COVID-19 spread in Punjab was mainly event-driven with marriages, local body elections and farmers’ agitation playing their part.

In a virtual interaction with the health ministers of 11 high burden states, including Punjab’s Balbir Singh Sidhu, this evening, Vardhan said about Punjab, “In Punjab, the UK variant of the virus has been found in over 80 per cent cases. Cases are surging and genome sequencing has also established the presence of the variant. This case surge is mainly event driven with marriages, local body elections, and farmers’ agitation playing a part.”

On Haryana’s disease graph, Vardhan said the infection spreading to smaller towns is a matter of concern.

“What is happening calls for introspection and action. Laxity is evident in this constant surge. Even right now everything is in our control and if we stick to strategies that helped us contain the infection until February we can bring down the cases,” said Vardhan.

He said 50 central teams in Punjab, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh will send daily feedback on containment progress to the Health Ministry for corrective action.

The minister also said the recent spate of elections, Kumbh, reopening of offices, outdoor events by people and complete disregard for masks had led to the current surge.“The fight against COVID is no rocket science. We just need to do more of the same—masks, hand hygiene, social distancing,” Vardhan said, urging states to stringently remind people of the lost lessons.

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