Rest of Asia

India's anti-Covid restrictions extended till September end

Wam/New Delhi
Filed on August 28, 2021
People wait for their turn to receive Covid vaccine at District Govt Women's Hospital in Varanasi. — AP

Official urges states to take measures to avoid large celebratory gatherings

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, in exercise of powers under the country’s Disaster Management Act, has extended the countrywide restrictions to contain Covid-19 until September 30.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and administrators of union territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote that "the overall pandemic situation at the national level now appears to be largely stable”.

He, however, said "the total number of active cases and high case positivity in some districts continue to remain a matter of concern." Bhalla drew the attention of states and union territories to the localised spread of the virus in a few states.

In view of several social and religious festivals coming up in the next two months, he urged measures to avoid large celebratory gatherings. If required, local restrictions must be imposed with a view to curbing overcrowding at festivities.

"We need to focus on a five-fold strategy of test, track, treat, vaccinate and adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour for effective management of Covid-19," the letter instructed. Bhalla expressed disappointment that data on the enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour was showing a downward trend.

"States and union territories are requested to augment their enforcement efforts for effectively checking transmission of the disease. Enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour is essential for tackling the pandemic on a sustained basis," the Home Secretary warned.

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