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Covid Curbs To Go; Masks, Distancing To Stay

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New Delhi: In light of the gradual decline in Covid-19 cases, the Union Home Ministry has chosen to lift all Covid-19 containment steps post-March 31. The curbs were implemented two years following the outbreak of the deadly virus infection.

However, wearing the face mask and maintaining social distancing will continue to stay for now as earlier, reported news agency PTI.

The Centre had issued orders and guidelines for the first time under the Disaster Management Act, (DM Act) 2005 for the containment of COVID-19 in the country on March 24, 2020, but have been modified at regular intervals.

In the last 24 months, significant capacities have been developed for various aspects of management of the pandemic, such as diagnostics, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment, vaccination, hospital infrastructure, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla was quoted as saying via a communication to the state chief secretaries by PTI.

According to Bhalla, the states and Union Territories too have developed their own capacities and systems and implemented their detailed specific plans for managing the pandemic mentioning that in the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases.

“The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only (on March 22) and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28 per cent,” he said.

“After taking into consideration the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, National Disaster Management Authority has taken a decision that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the Disaster Management Act for COVID containment measures,” said the communication further.

Following the expiry of the existing order on March 31, the Union Home Ministry will not issue any further order.

“I would, therefore, advise all the States and UTs to consider appropriately discontinuing issue of orders and guidelines under the DM Act, 2005 for COVID containment measures,” Bhalla was quoted as saying by the agency.

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