To stop the widespread of the deadly coronavirus authorities have been tirelessly working and introducing new efforts, restriction plans and safety norms for citizens. Now ahead of festival season Union Home Secy Ajay Bhalla has written to Chief Secretaries/Administrators of all states/UTs on ensuring adherence to Covid-19 appropriate behavior.
“I urge to issue directions to district & all other local authorities concerned, to take necessary measures as advised by Health Ministry”.
MHA order for the implementation of prompt and effective containment measures for COVID-19 management, as conveyed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisory dated 21st September, 2021.
2. The daily COVID-19 cases and overall number of COVID-19 patients in the country are declining steadily. However, there are still localised spreads of virus in few States and COVID-19 still continues to be a public health challenge in our country.
3. With the decline in the COVID-19 cases, there is a possibility that Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) is not adhered to strictly, especially during the upcoming festivals. It is therefore critical to enforce adherence to guidelines which allows regular festivities in a cautious, safe and COVID appropriate manner. Utmost vigil has to be maintained in respect of mass gathering events, so as to avoid any possibility of surge in COVID-19 cases. Consequently, large scale gatherings in fairs, festivals; and religious events and functions may lead to afresh surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
4. States/UTs, on a regular basis, should closely monitor case positivity, hospital/ICU bed occupancy of every district falling under their jurisdiction. The State Governments/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 localized approach, as has been mentioned in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisory dated 21.09.2021.
5. There should be continued focus on the five-fold strategy i.e. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour, to safely navigate through the festive season to avoid the possibility of surge in COVID-19 cases.
6. The State Governments/UT Administrations should continue with their vaccination programme with focus to accelerate vaccination of eligible age groups and prioritization of second dose to eligible beneficiaries.
7. I would, therefore, urge you to issue directions to the district and all other local authorities concerned, to take necessary measures as advised by MoHFW in their letter dated 21st September, 2021 for prompt and effective management of COVID-19. I would also advise that Orders issued by the respective State Governments/UT Administrations/district authorities in this regard, should be widely disseminated to the public and to the field functionaries, for their proper implementation.