New Delhi: With concerns rising over an accelerated spread of Covid-19 during the festival season, Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday (October 12) said no religion or God says that you have to celebrate in an ostentatious way.

The minister on Sunday urged people to avoid large gatherings and warned that the country may head for “big trouble” if precautionary guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are not followed diligently.

“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,” Vardhan said during an interaction with social media followers.

Requesting people to celebrate the upcoming festivals at home with their loved ones, instead of going out to fairs and pandals, the Union minister said fighting against the coronavirus is everyone’s foremost “dharma” and as the country’s health minister it is his “dharma” to mitigate the coronavirus and prevent deaths at any cost.

“My Dharma is to protect my people, to save lives and not destroy them. No religion or God says that you have to celebrate in an ostentatious way, there is no need to congregate in large numbers to prove your faith,” Harsh Vardhan tweeted.

“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 Extraordinary circumstances must draw extraordinary responses. No religion or God says you have to visit pandals and temples and mosques to pray,” he underlined.

Vardhan also said Feluda test - named after Satyajit Ray's famous detective - will soon be rolled out to test Covid-19. The test, priced at Rs 500, can deliver a result in 45 minutes.

Though active cases have been on the downslide and are less than 9 lakh for last three days, government experts are worried about an escalation in cases during the festival season along with the onset of winters.

Highlighting the possibility of increased transmission of coronavirus during winters, Vardhan said, “These viruses are known to thrive better in 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.”

Adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour of wearing masks or face covers especially when in public places, regularly washing hands and maintaining respiratory etiquette will help contain the spread of the disease, he firmly reiterated.