STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

After two years, Centre asks states to end all Covid curbs from March 31, but masks to stay

The decision to end all the Covid-related curbs came two years after the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005, was invoked following the pandemic outbreak

Published: 23rd March 2022 12:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2022 04:47 PM   |  A+A-

People wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait for bus in Mumbai.

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As Covid-19 cases show a steady decline in the country, the Centre asked states and Union territories to end all Covid containment measures from March 31. The decision to end all the Covid-related curbs came two years after the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005, was invoked following the pandemic outbreak.

However, wearing masks and other Covid appropriate behavior will continue.

In a letter to all the state chief secretaries, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that on the directions of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Union Home Ministry (MHA) had issued orders and guidelines under the DM Act 2005 for the containment of Covid-19 in the country.

He said, “After considering the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the government to deal with the pandemic, NDMA has decided that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the DM Act for Covid containment measures.”

ALSO READ| Salem Government Hospital performed more dialysis amid COVID lockdowns

Accordingly, he said, after the expiry of the existing order dated February 25, 2022, no further charge may be issued by MHA. The existing order was expiring on March 31.

The ministry, for the first time, had issued orders and guidelines under the DM Act 2005 for Covid containment in the country on March 24, 2020. It has since then issued modified orders from time to time.

WATCH | 
 

However, the order said the Union Ministry of Health “advisories on Covid containment measures, including on the use of face mask and hand hygiene, will continue to guide the overall national response to the pandemic.”

The states were also cautioned to remain “watchful” and asked to take “prompt and proactive action” if any “surge is observed.”

“I would, therefore, advise all states/UTs to consider appropriately discontinuing the issue of order and guidelines under the DM Act, 2005 for Covid containment measures,” the letter said.

ALSO READ| Karnataka well-prepared to handle any future COVID wave: Dr K Sudhakar

Over the last 24 months, significant capacities have been developed for various aspects of pandemic management, such as diagnostic, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination and hospital infrastructure, and the general public has a much higher level of awareness on appropriate Covid behavior.

It said over the last seven weeks, there has been a steep decline in the number of cases.

The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 (on March 22) and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28 percent, the order said.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp