PM Modi’s decision not to celebrate Holi has big message: Harsh Vardhan

A day after he warned of strict action against those inflating prices of masks, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to discuss steps to counter the coronavirus threat, ANI reported.

In a tweet, Vardhan also urged people to avoid mass gatherings and said that the Prime Minister’s decision not to celebrate Holi carries a big message.

“Avoid Mass Gathering! PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s decision not to celebrate Holi festival has a big message in this direction. During this time, I also appealed to people to avoid mass gatherings,” he tweeted.

The government has undertaken a massive precautionary exercise to detect coronavirus in the country with elaborate screening at 21 airports. Almost 6.5 lakh passengers have been screened at airports so far.

There are 31 positive cases of the virus in India and more than 29,000 people are under surveillance. Nineteen of the cases are in the national capital region.

India has seen a surge of coronavirus cases over the last week since three persons tested positive in Kerala in January. All three have since recovered.

The virus has triggered a panic buying of masks and sanitisers despite the government announcing that neither is a cure and that washing hands with soap and water is a better option. The government also underlined that that only people working in hospitals, caring for those infected with Covid-19 need a mask. An advisory by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is also along similar lines.

But despite the advisories, many people have started wearing masks as a precaution to ward off infection.

In a video conference meet on Friday with health ministers and chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Central ministers and representatives from organisations concerned, Vardhan underlined the importance of communicating with the masses and raising awareness about steps to prevent spread of the virus.

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