States should ensure people joining mass gatherings, pilgrimage are asymptomatic, vaccinated against Covid: Centre
pilgrimage

New Delhi: The Centre has asked states and Union territories to ensure that people taking part in mass gatherings and undertaking pilgrimage are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a letter to states and UTs on Tuesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said mass gatherings in context of various festivities as well as yatras are likely to be held in different parts of the country in the coming months, and that such congregations may potentially facilitate transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

While the trajectory of COVID-19 cases has declined significantly from levels that were observed in earlier part of this year, a few states and UTs across the country are witnessing a sustained upswing in the cases currently.

“During many such events/yatras lakhs of individuals undertake intra- and inter-state journey spanning hundreds of kilometres with halting points arranged by volunteers and community-based social/religious organisations. Such congregations may potentially facilitate transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19,” Bhushan said.

“All states and UTs where such mass gatherings/yatras are proposed to be held should widely publicise that all individuals planning to participate in such gatherings/events are asymptomatic and preferably fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If need be a special drive for primary vaccination and precaution dose administration to all eligible people may be taken by the administration at least a fortnight in advance for those planning to join,” he said in the letter.

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