Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla
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On Thursday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in his letter addressed to Chief Secretaries of all states said that violation of the nationwide lockdown has been noticed in various places.

"It has been brought to the notice of this (Home Affairs) Ministry, through Media reports and others sources, that there are violations, at various places, in the implementation of MHA Guidelines, I would like to emphasise that the MHA Guidelines should be strictly implemented, and all authorities in States/UTs should take necessary steps to ensure the same," he wrote.

Bhalla, in communication to all states and Union Territories, said that respective governments can delineate various zones, and decide on the activities to be prohibited, or allowed with restrictions, in accordance with the MHA guidelines. "Once the guidelines have been issued by the States and UTs, they should be strictly implemented, and action taken if any deviations are noticed," he said.

He also said there should be strict compliance of the order issued for night curfew or prohibition of all non-essential activities between 7 pm and 7 am. "The night curfew has been mandated with a view to ensure that people observe social distancing, and to contain the risk of spread of infection," he added.

The Union Home Secretary said that National Directives for COVID-19 Management which include wearing face covers, ensuring social distancing at work, transport and in public places, maintaining hygiene and sanitation etc. should be followed throughout the country.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 3,435 and the number of cases climbed to 1,12,359 in the country in a 24-hour span till Thursday 8 AM, registering an increase of 132 deaths and 5,609 cases. A total of 45,299 patients have recovered so far and 3,002 people have been cured in the last 24 hours, the ministry said. "The recovery rate is improving continuously and is 40.32 per cent currently," it said.

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Free Press Journal