NEW DELHI, 28 Oct: The Centre on Thursday extended the nationwide Covid-19 containment measures till 30 November as there has been localized spread of the virus in a few states and the disease continues to be a public health challenge in the country.
In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that the existing protocols for curbing the spread of Covid-19 will continue till 30 November.
Last month, he had said there was a possibility that Covid-appropriate behaviour might not be adhered to strictly, especially during the festival season, and hence it was critical to enforce guidelines which allowed regular festivities in a cautious, safe and Covid-appropriate manner.
Bhalla had said that the daily cases and overall number of patients in the country were declining steadily but there were localized spread of the virus in a few states and Covid-19 continued to be a public health challenge in the country.
The home secretary said that states and union territories, on a regular basis, should closely monitor case positivity, hospital, ICU beds occupancy of every district falling under their jurisdiction.
He said there should be continued focus on the five-fold strategy, ie, test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, to safely navigate through the festive season to avoid the possibility of a surge in Covid-19 cases.
He said that the state governments and union territory administrations should continue with their vaccination programmes with focus to accelerate inoculation of eligible age groups and prioritization of second dose to eligible beneficiaries.
The home secretary urged the chief secretaries to issue directions to the district and all other local authorities concerned to take necessary measures as advised by the union health ministry advisory for prompt and effective management of Covid-19.
India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 3,42,31,809 with 16,156 more people testing positive, while the active cases declined to 1,60,989, the lowest in 243 days, according to union health ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death toll climbed to 4,56,386 with 733 fresh fatalities, including 622 from Kerala, according to the data updated at 8 am. (PTI)