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Open up activities in a calibrated manner, Home Ministry tells States

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 19, 2021

States told to ensure no let-up in adhering to Covid-19-appropriate behaviour while opening up

The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to States and Union Territories that the opening up of activities due to the decline in Covid-19 cases should be done in a “calibrated manner” and has stressed the need to continue adopting Covid-19-appropriate behaviour so as to contain the spread of the pandemic.

“With the decline in the number of active cases, many states and UTs have started relaxing restrictions. I would like to highlight the decision to impose or ease the restriction has to be taken, based on the assessment of the situation at the ground level. While the opening of activities after decline in cases is essential, the states must ensure that the whole process is carefully calibrated,” said Ajay Bhalla, Home Secretary in an advisory to the States.

Also read: India reports 60,753 new Covid-19 cases, 1,647 deaths on Saturday

The advisory further added that it would be extremely important to follow the five-fold strategy of Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination. Regular monitoring of Covid-19-appropriate behaviour is required to prevent relapse, it said. Covid-19-appropriate behaviour includes mandatory use of masks, hand hygiene, social distancing and also proper ventilation of closed spaces.

However, easing of restrictions in some states have led to resumption of crowding of people in markets etc without adherence to the norms of Covid-19-appropriate behaviour. It is therefore essential to ensure that complacency does not set in, and there is no let-up in adhering to Covid-19-appropriate behaviour, while opening up activities.

“To contain the spread of infection on a sustainable basis, it is necessary to continue the strategy of test-track-treat. It may especially be ensured that the testing rate does not come down. As the situation is dynamic, a close watch needs to be kept on early signs of surge in the active or higher positivity rates. A system should be in place at the micro level to ensure that whenever cases rise in a smaller place, it gets checked there itself, through local containment measures as per the existing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” said the Home Ministry’s advisory.

It added that the vaccination against Covid-19 in the present scenario is critical to break the chain of transmission. Therefore, all State and UT Governments should step up the pace of vaccination to cover the maximum number of people in an expeditious manner, the advisory said.

Published on June 19, 2021

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