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COVID-19: Centre Asks States To Restrict Public Observance Of Festivals, Limit Or Stop Gatherings

Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry Arti Ahuja, in a letter to state chief secretaries and union territory administrators, stated that the battle against COVID-19 is at a critical juncture with rising number of cases and deaths being reported from many parts in the recent past

COVID-19: Centre Asks States To Restrict Public Observance Of Festivals, Limit Or Stop Gatherings
Highlights
  • Any laxity at this point may result in losing the impetus gained: Official
  • Adherence to COVID-19 norms in public places is the key: Ms. Ahuja
  • States, union territories to consider imposing local restrictions: Centre

New Delhi: Amid a spike in COVID-19 infections in some parts of the country, the Centre on Wednesday (March 24) asked states and union territories to consider imposing local restrictions in public observance of the upcoming festivals and limit or do away with mass gatherings for effective control of the pandemic.

Also Read: Maharashtra, Punjab, Three Other States Witnessing Surge In COVID-19 Cases: Centre

Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry Arti Ahuja, in a letter to state chief secretaries and union territory administrators, stated that the battle against COVID-19 is at a critical juncture with rising number of cases and deaths being reported from many parts in the recent past.

…in view of upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, Bihu, Easter and Eid-ul-Fitr, etc., it is strongly advised that states may consider imposing local restrictions in public observance of these festivals and limit/do away with mass gatherings in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the letter read.

Ms. Ahuja asked states to refer to the order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on March 23 for effective control of COVID-19, and also attached the order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority for reference.

Any laxity at this point in ensuring strict adherence to various SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health to contain the spread of COVID-19 may result in losing the impetus and benefits that our country has gained so far in managing the virus. Strict adherence to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour in public places and gathering is the key to break the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of cases in the country, the letter stated.

Also Read: ‘Janata Curfew’ To Vaccination: India’s Year-Long Fight Against COVID-19

(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 (WaterSanitation 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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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