The Centre on Saturday issued an order extending the existing Covid compliance of containment measures to remain enforced till September 30 and asked the state governments and Union Territory administrations to abide by the earlier directions issued by the Union Ministries of Home and Health and Family Welfare.
In the order, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “In the exercise of powers, conferred under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure compliance to the containment measures for Covid, as conveyed vide the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will remain in force up to September 30.”
Following up with this order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a separate communication to the states and the UTs, said, “The overall pandemic situation at the national level now appears to be largely stable, except for the localised spread of virus in a few states.” He, however, stated that the total number of active cases and high case positivity in some districts continued to remain a matter of concern.
Highlighting that the weekly enforcement data received from across the country with regard to wearing face masks in public, maintaining social distancing norms and imposition of fines indicated a downward trend, the Home Secretary asked the state governments and UT administrations to augment their efforts for effectively checking transmission of the disease. “Enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour is essential for tackling the pandemic on a sustained basis,” he added.
Bhalla said, “The states and UTs are further advised to take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during the coming festival season, and if required, impose local restrictions with a view to curbing such large gatherings. We need to continue our focus on the five-fold strategy – test, track, treat, vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour”.
“The country has made significant progress in vaccination. The states and the UTs should continue their vaccination programme so as to inoculate the maximum number of eligible persons,” he said, adding that it must be ensured that areas having no virus or low virus transmission are adequately protected by progressively ramping up testing and other surveillance measures.