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PM Modi expresses concerns over tourists thronging markets at hill stations without masks amid raging pandemic

In the pictures shared widely on social media platforms, lakhs of tourists were seen huddled on the streets of various hill stations in the country, that too without following any social distancing norm.

PM Narendra Modi on July 13 (Tuesday), while virtually addressing the CM’s of eight north-eastern states, expressed his concerns over the huge influx of tourists at hill stations, like Shimla, Manali and other areas, with most not following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Reiterating his government’s message that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, PM Narendra Modi said that crowding of people at hill stations and markets without wearing masks is “worrisome.” Modi warned the tourists, flouting Covid protocols, that the third wave of the pandemic would hit the country only when we invite it.

While interacting with Chief Ministers of the northeastern states on the Covid-19 situation, Modi said: “It is true that tourism, business and business have been greatly affected due to coronavirus, but today I will say very emphatically that it is not okay to have huge crowds in hill stations, markets that too without wearing masks.” 

“The number of Covid-19 cases is rising. We need to take strict action to curb the situation at the micro-level”, PM Modi added.

Last week, amid the influx of tourists at various hill stations in the country, especially in Himachal Pradesh, the central government had issued a warning on Twitter. In a tweet, it said, “#Manali can wait, But Virus won’t. Ensure that you maintain 2 gaj doori in order to keep yourself & others around you safe. Be responsible, stay protected!”

Addressing a daily briefing on India’s Covid-19 situation, the Union Health Ministry official also said last week: “People travelling to hill stations are not following Covid-appropriate behaviour. We can nullify the ease in restrictions again if protocols not complied with.”

The government had raised concerns after pictures of tourist’s thronging the hill stations had gone viral on social media platforms. “Images of people thronging hill stations frightening”, the central government had remarked, adding that the people are resorting to “revenge travelling” after travel restrictions have been lifted.

Images from Manali, shared by News Agency ANI

Last week, ANI also shared pictures and videos of heavily crowded streets in hill stations including Manali, Simla, Kufri, Mussoorie etc.

Lakhs of tourists were seen huddled on the streets, that too without following any social distancing norm. Many were seen roaming around without their masks, leaving Netizens annoyed over people failing to adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. Many castigated these tourists saying that irresponsible people like these will be behind kindling the third wave of the pandemic in the country.

As per latest figure, there are currently 4,25,471 active cases in India. Over 3.09 crore people have tested positive in India till now of which over 3 crore people have recovered. Over 4 lakh people have lost their lives to the Chinese virus in India.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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