Centre extends nationwide Covid containment measures till Oct 31 in view of festivals

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Image Source : PTI

Passengers queue up for Covid-19 testing after arriving at a railway platform on a long-distance train at Dadar railway station in Mumbai.

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday directed all States and Union Territories to implement ‘Prompt and Effective Measures’ specified in a September 21 advisory issued in view of festivals, until October 31, 2021 to contain the spread of Covid.

It has also extended Covid-19 containment measures across the country till October 31 in view of some localised spreads of pandemic in a few states.

In a communication with the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of the Union Territories (UTs), the Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said that considering the need to prevent any potential rise in the number of cases in view of the upcoming festive season in the country, on the direction of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the undersigned to issue an Order, for containment of COVID-19 in the country and in exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(i) of the DM Act, the undersigned, hereby directs the State/UT Governments and State/UT Authorities to consider implementation of Prompt & Effective Containment Measures, as conveyed vide aforesaid MoHFW advisory dated 21 September, 2021, until 31.10.2021. The States/UTs, will take the necessary measures, under the relevant provisions of the DM Act”, the Home Ministry communication reads.

The communication also said that the ‘National Directives’ for COVID-19 Management, shall continue to be strictly followed throughout the country and all the District Magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures.

Local spread of virus in few States

Noting that the daily Covid cases and the overall number of patients in the country has been declining steadily, Bhalla further said that there are still localised spreads of virus in few States and the pandemic continues to be a public health challenge for the country.

He also asked the head of the state administration to closely monitor case positivity, hospital and availability of ICU bed occupancy of every district and in case of having high positivity in their districts; they should also take proactive containment measures so as to effectively arrest the spike in cases and to contain the spread of transmission.

The Home Secretary also reminded the states and UT governments to focus on the five-fold strategy of ‘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 cases along with the continuous efforts for the vaccination drive in their jurisdictions.

(With inputs from IANS)

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