Covid-19 guidelines extended till March 31, states told to maintain caution
As the ministry of home affairs extended the Covid-19 guidelines till March 31 on Friday in view of the surge in daily cases, home secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to states and Union territories to exercise caution and ensure strict surveillance.
“While there has been a substantial decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic,” the home ministry said in a statement.
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The ministry has also advised states and Union territories to step up the pace of vaccination of the target population against the viral disease in order to break the chain of transmission.
In line with the guidelines, the ministry said, the states need to ensure that containment zones continue to be demarcated carefully and prescribed containment measures are strictly followed within these zones. Covid-19-appropriate behaviour must be promoted and strictly enforced and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prescribed in respect of various permitted activities must be followed scrupulously, the ministry emphasised.
The move comes in the backdrop of rising cases in several states, especially Maharashtra and Kerala, that have pushed the country's infection tally past 11.06 million. After witnessing a substantial decline, the share of active cases at 155,986 has again gone up marginally to 1.41%.
According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, 86% of the new cases are being reported from only six states. On Friday, Maharashtra continued to report the highest daily new cases at 8,333, followed by Kerala with 3,671 while Punjab reported 628 new cases.Karnataka with 571 cases, Tamil Nadu with 481, and Gujarat with 460 were next in line.
The nation’s total positive cases stand at 11,063,491 while 156,825 people have lost their lives. Though India’s Covid-19 trajectory has been witnessing an upward trend, the recoveries from Covid-19 too have shot up. As many as 10,750,680 people have recovered from the disease which takes the recovery rate to 97.17%.