- States/UTs should strictly enforce the 'test-track-treat' protocol: Centre
- The active caseload breached the 4 lakh-mark again after 3.5 months
- The death toll increased to 1,60,949 with 257 daily new fatalities
New Delhi: The Centre on Friday (March 26) asked states and union territories to regulate crowd during upcoming festivals like Holi, Easter and Eid in view of rising cases of COVID-19. In a communication to chief secretaries of all states and union territories (UTs), Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the country is passing through a critical juncture as COVID-19 cases and deaths have been on the rise.
Also Read: Holi 2021: States And Union Territories Restrict Holi Celebrations Following A Rise In COVID-19 Cases
Mr. Bhalla said after assessing the situation, guidelines for effective control of COVID-19 were issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 23 and it has been emphasised that states and UTs should strictly enforce the ‘test-track-treat’ protocol. It has also been told that COVID-19 appropriate behaviour should be observed and prescribed SOPs followed on various activities, such as opening of schools, higher education institutions, hotels and restaurants, shopping malls, multiplexes, entertainment parks, gymnasium, exhibitions, among others.
Further, states and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, are allowed to impose local restrictions at the district, sub-district, and city and ward levels.
In view of upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, harvesting festivals, Easter, Eid-ul-Fitr, etc. the state governments and UT administrations should take necessary measures to regulate crowds during these festivals by ensuring strict observance of COVID appropriate behaviour, such as wearing of mask and maintaining social distancing, as mandated in aforesaid guidelines and in the National Directives for COVID- 19 Management, the communication said.
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The home secretary also asked chief secretaries to issue necessary instructions to district administrations and police authorities to scrupulously enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and SOPs in all public gatherings during the upcoming festivals. Further, Mr. Bhalla said, campaign should also be intensified for creating public awareness.
As has been emphasised time and again by health experts, strict adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour in public places and gatherings will help in breaking the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of COVID cases in the country, he said.
India saw 59,118 new coronavirus infections in a day, the highest single-day rise so far this year, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,18,46,652, the health ministry said on Friday. The active caseload breached the 4 lakh-mark again after around three-and-half months. The death toll increased to 1,60,949 with 257 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Also Read: Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases, Meghalaya Government Bans Public Celebrations Of Holi
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.