‘Fighting against COVID is our foremost Dharma’: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan requests people to celebrate upcoming festivals at home

Warning people to stay away from large congregations and diligently follow the guidelines issued by the government regarding precautions to be taken amid COVID-19, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday requested people to celebrate upcoming festivals at home, with their loved ones, instead of going out to fairs and pandals. Reminding people that fighting against COVID is the foremost Dharma, he explained that his Dharma as the Health Minister of the country is to mitigate the virus and prevent deaths at any cost. “The Bhagwad Gita condones war for the warrior class. So, there is no need to congregate in large numbers to prove your faith or your religion. If we do this, we may be heading for big trouble. Lord Krishna says concentrate on your goal..my goal and your goal .. OUR goal is to finish this virus and save humanity. This is our religion. The religion of the whole world.”

He added that “Extraordinary circumstances must draw extraordinary responses. No religion or God says that you have to celebrate in an ostentatious way, that you have to visit pandals and temples and mosques to pray”. He exhorted citizens to join the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to take a pledge and join the massive country-wide awareness campaign and “Jan Andolan” during the two months (including the winter season) so that the pandemic does not spread further. Dr Harsh Vardhan shared the possibility of increased novel coronavirus transmission during winters as it is a respiratory virus and the transmission of respiratory viruses is known to increase during the colder weather. “These viruses are known to thrive better in the cold weather and low humidity conditions. In view of these, it would not be wrong to assume that the winter season may see increased rates of transmission of the novel coronavirus in the Indian context too,” he noted. Adhering to the COVID appropriate behaviours of wearing masks/face covers, especially when in public places, regularly washing of hands and maintaining of respiratory etiquette ill help us to contain the spread of the diseases, he reiterated firmly.