'Ease Covid curbs' nudge for States from Centre
New Delhi, Feb 16
As new coronavirus cases decline across the country, the Centre has asked States and Union Territories to review, change or drop COVID-19 restrictions after considering the trend of new cases and positivity rate in their regions.
In a letter sent to Chief Secretaries and Chief Administrators of all States and Union Territories on Wednesday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the coronavirus pandemic in India is showing a sustained declining trend since January 21.
The average daily cases during last week were 50,476, and 27,409 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. The daily case positivity rate declined to 3.63 percent on Wednesday.
In earlier months, as cases kept rising, some States had ordered additional restrictions at their borders and airports, he said.
While effectively managing the public health challenge of COVID-19, it is equally important that movement of people and economic activities should not be hampered by additional restrictions imposed at State-level points of entry, Mr Bhushan said in the letter.
"Presently, as the case trajectory across the Nation is showing a sustained downward trend, it will be useful if States/UTs review and amend/do away with the additional restrictions so imposed after considering the trend of new cases, active cases and positivity within the State and UT," he said.
With the changing epidemiology of the pandemic globally and in India, existing guidelines aimed at minimising the transmission and circulation of the virus have been reviewed and updated. The Union Ministry of Health accordingly revised its guidelines for international arrivals on February 10, he said.
Mr Bhushan underlined that States and Union Territories must also continue monitoring the trajectory of cases and spread of infection daily. They may also follow the broad five-fold strategy of Test Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, he said. "I'm sure that under your continued leadership the State and UT will continue to address the challenge of COVID-19 while minimizing its impact on lives and livelihood of the people," Mr Bhushan said in the letter. NDTV