Union Home Ministry on Friday urged all the States and Union Territories to issue necessary instructions to the district administrations and police authorities to "scrupulously ensure COVID appropriate behaviour and SOPs in all public gatherings".
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla's letter to all the States and UTs in view of the upcoming festivals such as Holi, Shab-e-Barat, harvesting festivals, Easter, Eid-ul-Fitr, etc.
"As has been emphasized time and again by health experts, strict adherance to COVID appropriate behaviour in public places and gatherings will help in breaking the chain of transmission and reduce the incidence of COVID-19 cases in the country," stated the Union Home Secretary.
He also noted that the country is "passing through a critical juncture" as number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have been on the rise in many States and UTs in recent past.
The Union Home Secretary also said the States and UTs may impose local restrictions at district/sub-district and cities/ward level "based on their assessment of the situation".
Meanwhile, five states -- Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat -- have registered a sharp rise in daily COVID-19 cases, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday as India recorded 59,118 new infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year.
After touching its lowest mark in mid-February, India's active COVID-19 caseload is on a steady rise and has breached the 4-lakh mark again after around three-and-half months.
As of date, there are 4.21 lakh active cases in the country, a net rise of 25,874 infections in a day.
"Three states -- Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab -- together account for 73.64 per cent of the total active cases in the country," the Health Ministry said.