India / Govt extends guideline for implementing targeted actions for COVID-19 till Aug 31

Zoom News : Jul 28, 2021, 06:17 PM
NEW DELHI: While extending validity of its order seeking implementation of targeted and prompt actions for Covid-19 management, until August 31, the home ministry on Wednesday asked states and Union territories to ensure that there is no increase in reproduction number of the virus, or ‘R’ factor, particularly with the festival season round the corner.

“The reproduction number of the virus, commonly known as the 'R' factor, is hovering just below 'one' but is high in some of the states. As reiterated in my earlier D.O. letter dated 14.07.2021, all efforts should be made to ensure that there is no increase in the 'R' factor. Further, strictest possible measures should be taken in the districts that are still showing high positivity rates,” Bhalla wrote to all state chief secretaries and UT administrators.

Drawing attention to the upcoming festival season, Bhalla impressed upon the states/UTs the need to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour in all crowded places. “There should be continuous focus on the five-fold strategy for effective management of Covid-19, that is, ‘test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour,” he said.

While noting that the decline in the number of active cases was a matter of satisfaction, Bhalla cautioned the states and UTs to re-open the activities within their jurisdiction in a gradual manner. “It may be noted that the absolute case numbers are still significantly high. Therefore, there is no room for complacency and the process of relaxing restrictions should be carefully calibrated, as has been reiterated in my earlier communications,” he said.

Urging states and UTs to issue strict directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned, to take necessary measures for management of Covid-19, Bhalla insisted that the officers should be made personally responsible for any laxity in strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour.

He also advised that orders issued by the respective state and UT governments and district authorities in this regard be widely disseminated to the public and to the field functionaries for proper implementation.