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Centre extends Covid guidelines till 31 July, asks states to focus on 5-fold strategy. Details here

A security personnel does thermal screening of a visitor at the entrance of a mall that reopened in Gorakhpur. (PTI)Premium
A security personnel does thermal screening of a visitor at the entrance of a mall that reopened in Gorakhpur. (PTI)

  • MHA has asked states to strictly implement national directives for Covid-19 management
  • All district magistrates shall strictly enforce these measures, Union home ministry said in a letter to states and UTs

Ministry of Home Affairs has asked states and union territories to "consider implementation of targeted and prompt actions for Covid-19 management... until July 31, 2021".

The state governments have been asked to follow the Covid-19 management measures listed in an advisory conveyed through an earlier communique by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday.

In its letter on Tuesday, Union Home Ministry has asked states to strictly implement national directives for Covid-19 management. All district magistrates shall strictly enforce these measures, MHA directed states and UTs, adding that state governments and union territory administration s may use the provisions of Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to enforce social distancing.

"Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable," read the letter undersigned by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

In its advisory, Health Ministry has asked states and UTs for maintain focus on five-fold strategy for Covid-19 management - Test, Track, Treat, Vaccinate, and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.

The Health Ministry had also called for calibrated lifting of Covid-19 restrictions with continued focus on fighting the pandemic. "In view of the declining number of cases being reported by many states have initiated the implementation of relaxation measures. In this context, it is critical that that the lifting of restrictions/ providing relaxations be carefully calibrated with continued focus on containment efforts to curb the spread of the infection."

The ministry stated that states can use the existing classifications to prioritise districts based on their risk profiles. States and union territories may identify districts that need the most restrictions, while the remaining districts will be allowed to have higher degrees of relaxations based on lower weekly case positivity or a relatively low bed occupancy rate.

Districts with high weekly positivity rate and bed occupancy rate will have to be monitored closely and states may consider appointed a senior officer from state headquarters as a nodal officer. This district nodal officer would work in coordination with local authorities to identify case clusters and ensure implementation of anti-Covid-19 measures.

Restrictions once imposed cannot be lifted for a minimum period of 14 days, the advisory said.

States have also been asked to follow national directives for Covid-19 management, which include mandatory face coverings in public places, maintaining social distancing and prohibition on spitting in open.

Meanwhile, workplaces have been asked to promote work from home as much as possible, stagger working hours to avoid crowding, continuously screen, and sanitise.

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