Centre asks states, UTs to allow relaxation in Covid restrictions
New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Friday asked states and Union Territories to consider relaxing Covid curbs for social, sports, entertainment, academic and religious events as well as night curfew hours in view of the substantial decline in the number of cases.
Issuing COVID-19 guidelines for March, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also suggested the implementation of a risk assessment-based approach on the opening of economic activities as suggested by the Union Health Ministry recently.
Accordingly, after a careful analysis of the local situation, relaxation in various activities may be considered, such as social, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival related gatherings; night curfew; operations of public transport; shopping complexes, cinema halls, gyms, spas, restaurants and bars; opening of schools, colleges, offices, and other commercial activities, the communication said.
In the guidelines, sent to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, the home secretary also emphasised that the wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and ventilation in closed spaces, as mandated in the National Directives for COVID Management, should continue to be enforced.
He said states and UTs should continue with testing and surveillance, clinical management, vaccination and implementation of Covid appropriate behaviour for managing COVID-19.
I would, therefore, urge you to take necessary action in line with the aforesaid Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advisory, dated 18th February, 2022 and for the enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour, Bhalla said.
India logged 13,166 new Coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,28,94,345 (42.8 million/4.28 crore), while active cases have declined to 1,34,235, according to the Union Health Ministry on Friday. The death toll climbed to 5,13,226 with 302 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The daily positivity rate was recorded as 1.28 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded as 1.48 per cent, according to the ministry.
The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 176.86 crore.