Centre asks States, UTs to relax Covid restrictions after risk assessment

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday asked the States and Union Territories (UTs) to allow further relaxations in the Covid-19 restrictions after a risk assessment based approach on the opening of economic activities. such as social, sports, entertainment, academic and religious events as well as night curfew hours in view of the substantial decline in coronavirus cases.

In a letter written to all Chief Secretaries of states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said on Friday that further ease may be given for social, sports, entertainment, academic and religious events as well as night curfew hours in view of the substantial decline in coronavirus cases.

“In view of the overall improved situation, there is a need to follow a risk assessment based approach on the opening of economic activities. Accordingly, after a careful analysis of the local situation, relaxation in various activities may be considered, such as social /sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious/festival related gatherings; night curfew; operations of public transport; shopping complexes, cinema halls, gyms, spas, restaurants and bars; opening of schools, colleges, offices, and other commercial activities.”, Bhalla said.

He also emphasised that while allowing all such activities, the wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, hand hygiene and ventilation in closed spaces, as mandated in the National Directives for COVID Management, should continue to be enforced.

“States/UTs should continue with the testing and surveillance, clinical management, vaccination and implementation of COVID Appropriate Behaviour, for managing COVID-19.”, the MHA communication said.

“I would, therefore, urge you to take necessary action in line with the aforesaid MoHFW advisory, dated 18th February, 2022 and for the enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour,” Bhalla said.

The Health Ministry on Friday reported a decline in fresh cases of Covid-19 at 13,166 against 14,148 cases reported on the previous day while the daily positivity rate has gone down to 1.28 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded as 1.48 per cent.

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