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Considering the current positivity rate across the country, the centre has extended the COVID-19 guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act till February 28. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday issued a notification in this regard. As per the ministry, its previous order to "ensure compliance to the normative framework for taking evidence based Covid-9 containment measures" will remain effective till February 28, 2022. Earlier, the guidelines were imposed till January 31.
Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla has also written a letter to the states and Union Territories (UTs) asking them to observe all precautions and not to lower the guard against the pandemic.
In the letter to the chief secretaries, Bhalla noted that the country has been witnessing a steady increase in the number of COVID cases due to the current COVID wave led by Omicron, and the active cases have increased to over 22 lakhs.
Even though a majority of the patients are recovering fast and there is a low percentage of cases in hospitals, it is still a matter of concern as 407 districts in 34 States and Union Territories are reporting a positivity rate of over 10 per cent, he said.
"Therefore, looking at the current trends of COVID virus, there is a need to exercise caution and vigilance," he added.
Highlighting the current Covid situation in India, the union home secretary asked all the states and Union territories to exercise caution and vigilance.
Imposition and lifting of local curbs/restrictions should be dynamic and should be based on the case positivity and hospitalisation status at the local level. States should continue to focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat, vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour, he noted.
Bhalla asked states to take necessary measures for prompt and effective management of COVID-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on Omicron and strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour.
With inputs from agencies
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