The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday extended the Covid-19 containment guidelines for another month till September 30 in view of the sudden spike in daily cases and a looming third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the new order, the central government has asked all states and Union Territories. To make sure there are no large gatherings during the upcoming festival season and, impose localized restrictions, if necessary, in order to check the spread of the virus.
However, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that the pandemic situation overall appears largely stable at the national level barring some confined resurgence in a few states.
“The total number of active cases and high case positivity in some districts continue to remain a matter of concern. The state governments and UT administrations concerned, having high positivity in their districts, should take pro-active containment measures so as to effectively arrest the spike in cases and to contain the spread of transmission. It is important to identify warning signs of potential surges early on and to take appropriate measures to curb the spread. This would require a localised approach, as has been mentioned in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisories dated April 25 and June 28,” the Home Secretary told chief secretaries of all states and UTs in his letter.
The Centre noted that weekly enforcement data, received from the state governments regarding the enforcement of Covid-19 appropriate behavior, suggests that there is a “downward trend” in the enforcement of face masks in public, the maintaining of social distancing norms, imposition of fines, and the likes.
The MHA advised the state governments to augment their respective efforts in this regard.
“Further, it must be ensured that areas having no virus or low virus transmission are adequately protected by progressively ramping up testing and other measures like the ILI/SARI surveillance, market surveillance, etc,” the home secretary quoted.
Warning no laxity in the enforcement of these measures, the MHA official said that the officers concerned will be made “personally responsible” for any leniency in meeting these instructions.
Bhalla advised states and UTs to “take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during the coming festive season and, if required, impose local restrictions to prevent such gatherings”.
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Image Credit: ANI news