Wednesday , September 22 2021

MHA issues guidelines to fight possible Covid third wave: Ensure no large gathering during festival season

FILE | People visit a crowded market as the authorities
Image Source : PTI

FILE | People visit a crowded market as the authorities allowed to open the market on Saturdays amid Covid-19 lockdown in Noida

The Centre Saturday asked all states and union territories to ensure there is no large gathering during the upcoming festival season and, if necessary, impose local restrictions to check the spread of coronavirus.

Extending the ongoing COVID-19 guidelines for one more month till September 30, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the overall pandemic situation now appears to be largely stable at the national level, except for the localised spread observed in a few states.

The total number of active cases and high case positivity in some districts continue to remain a matter of concern, he told the chief secretaries of all states and UTs in his identical letters.

“The state governments and UT administrations concerned, having high positivity in their districts, should take pro-active containment measures so as to effectively arrest the spike in cases and to contain the spread of transmission.

“It is important to identify warning signs of potential surges early on and to take appropriate measures to curb the spread. This would require a localised approach, as has been mentioned in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisories dated April 25 and June 28,” he said.

The home secretary further advised them to take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during the coming festive season and, if required, impose local restrictions to prevent such gatherings. Covid-appropriate behaviour should be strictly enforced at all crowded places, he said.

There is a need to continue focus on the five-fold strategy — test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour — for effective management of COVID-19, the secretary added.

India recorded 46,759 new Covid cases, along with 509 deaths due to the infection in the past 24 hours. According to the data shared by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday, the country saw a total of 31,374 discharges in the last 24 hours, taking the total recovery rate at around 97.60 per cent and total recoveries to 3,18,52,802.

The total active cases of COVID-19 in India rose to 3,59,775, the ministry data showed. The total death toll in the country is now at 4,37,370. In India, the first death due to COVID pandemic was reported in March 2020.

Meanwhile, India on Friday achieved a milestone by administering more than 1 crore Covid vaccine doses. It is the highest ever vaccination achieved in a single day. In addition to this, the total vaccination coverage in the country has surpassed the 62 crore mark.

ALSO READ: India achieves single-day vaccination milestone with over 1 crore doses; PM Modi says momentous feat

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