New Delhi: The Centre on Friday asked all states and Union Territories to maintain caution and strict surveillance to fully overcome the pandemic, as it extended the COVID-19 guidelines till March 31.
In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged the officials to ensure the compliance of the guidelines.
"As you are aware, the number of active and new cases in the country has substantially declined over the last few months. However, there is need for maintaining caution and strict surveillance to as to fully overcome the pandemic," he said.
"All activities have been permitted, subject to following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), issued by respective administrative ministry and department as well as the SOPs, which are to be issued by the states and UTs," Bhalla wrote.
He further reiterated that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods, including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries.
"I would urge you to ensure compliance of the aforesaid guidelines and direct all authorities concerned for their strict implementation. Further guidelines issued by [the] MHA and consequent orders issued by the respective state governments/UT administrations should be widely disseminated to the public and to the field functionaries for implementation," he said in the letter.
Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued an order to extend the existing Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution till March 31.
"States/Union Territories have also been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic. Accordingly, Containment Zones continue to be demarcated carefully; prescribed containment measures strictly followed within these zones; COVID-appropriate behaviour promoted and strictly enforced; and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prescribed in respect of various permitted activities followed scrupulously," the MHA said in a press release.
"Therefore, the focused approach on surveillance, containment, and strict observance of the guidelines/SOPs, as envisaged in the Guidelines issued on 27.01.2021, need to be enforced strictly by states and Union Territories."
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