Positivity Down, But Home Ministry Warns States On Relaxing Restrictions

"I would like to highlight that in spite of the declining trend the number of active cases presently is very high," the Union Home Secretary has written in his letter to the Chief Secretaries of states.

Positivity Down, But Home Ministry Warns States On Relaxing Restrictions

As many as 11 states are under lockdown and strict restrictions are in place in others.

India's positivity rate having dropped to single digit over the last one month, the Centre has warned states to relax restrictions in a "graded manner" and that too after reassessing local situations.

"I would like to highlight that in spite of the declining trend the number of active cases presently is very high," the Union Home Secretary has written in his letter to the Chief Secretaries of states.

"It is therefore important that containment measures may continue to be implemented strictly. Any relaxation by States/UTs may be considered at an appropriate time, in graded manner after assessing the local situation, requirements and resources," he added.

As per the Union Home Ministry directive, the national directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be strictly followed throughout the country. The Home ministry's order shall be effective till June 30.

As many as 11 states are under lockdown and strict restrictions are in place in others.

The ministry has also asked the states to continue compliance to the containment measures to fully overcome the pandemic.

"Identify districts where either the tests positivity had been more than 10 per cent or more in the last one week; or, where bed occupancy was more than 60%; districts fulfilling any of the two criteria should be considered for taking intensive and local containment measures," the directive read.

The Union Home Secretary however showed appreciation for of some states regarding their implementation of containment measures.

"The strict implementation of containment and other measures has led to a declining trend in the number of new and active cases across states and UTs, barring some areas in Southern and North Eastern regions," the letter read.

As was done over the last month, the spread of the infection has to be controlled through restricting the mingling of people, it added.

The letter also repeated the guidelines sent last month to minimise in-person interactions. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival related and other gathering and congregations have been prohibited.

Marriages should be attended by up to 50 persons and funerals by up to 20 persons.

All shopping complexes, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, sports complexes, gym, spas, swimming pool and religious places should remain closed.

Offices, both government and private, can function with a maximum staff strength of 50 per cent. Industrial and scientific establishments, government and private, can function but the workforce has to follow physical distancing norms.

Public transport like railways, metros, buses, cabs can operate at a maximum capacity of 50 per cent.

There shall be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement including transportation of essential goods.

States should ensure that people who should be on home isolation are maintaining protocol. The states should also create a mechanism for regular monitoring of people under home isolation through call centres and regular visit of surveillance teams .

Specific monitoring shall be done for high risk cases and their timely shifting to the health facility, the guidelines further said.