The Home Ministry has asked all States and Union Territories to keep a close watch while relaxing restrictions in a cautious manner and ensure that there is no complacency in adhering to COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and implement the test-track-treat-vaccinate strategy to contain the spread of infection.
In a letter to Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday said vaccination against COVID-19 in the present scenario was critical to break the chain of transmission and, therefore, the respective governments should step up the pace of vaccination to cover the maximum number of people in an expeditious manner.
Mr. Bhalla said a significant surge of cases was witnessed during the second wave in several States and Union Territories. Many States imposed restrictions in order to contain the situation. With the decline in the number of active cases, many States and Union Territories have started relaxing restrictions.
“I would like to highlight that the decision to impose or ease the restriction has to be taken based on the assessment of the situation at the ground level. While the opening up of activities after decline in cases is essential, the States and UTs must ensure that the process is carefully calibrated,” he said, adding that it would be extremely important to follow the five-fold strategy of following COVID-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination.
“However, easing of restrictions in some States has led to resumption of crowding of people in markets etc. without adherence to the norms of COVID-appropriate behaviour. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that complacency does not set in and there is no let-up in adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour while opening up activities,” said the Home Secretary.
He said: “As the situation is dynamic, a close watch needs to be kept on early signs of a surge in active cases or high positivity rates. A system should be in place at the micro level to ensure that whenever cases rise in a smaller place, it gets checked there itself through local containment measures as per the existing guidelines issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.”