MHA advisory to States on Blatant violations of COVID norms
Government of India
AJAY BHALLA, IAS
D.O. No. 40-3/2020-DM-I (A)
Dated: 14th July, 2021
Dear Chief Secretary,
1. Kindly refer to the MHA Order of even number, dated 29th June, 2021, issued for the implementation of targeted and prompt actions for COVID-19 management, in line with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisory, dated 28th June, 2021.
2. With the decline in the number of active cases, States and UTs have started re-opening the activities in a gradual manner. As reiterated in my earlier D.O. letter dated 19.06.2021, the process of relaxing restrictions should be carefully calibrated.
3. However, blatant violations of COVID norms have been observed in several parts of the country, especially in public transport and at hill stations. Massive crowds are also thronging the market places, violating norms of social distancing. Consequently, increase in ‘R’ factor (Reproduction number) in some of the States, is a matter of concern. You may be aware that any increase in ‘R’ factor above 1.0 is an indicator of spread of COVID 19. Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be made responsible for ensuring COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in all crowded places, such as shops, malls, markets, market complexes, weekly markets, restaurants 86 bars, mandis, bus stations, railway platforms/stations, public parks 86 gardens, gymnasiums, banquet halls/marriage halls, stadia/sports complexes (if opened up by the State) as well as at all areas identified as hotspots for transmission of COVID-19 virus.
4. It needs to be ensured that if the norms of COVID Appropriate Behaviour are not maintained at any establishment/premises/markets etc., such places shall be liable for the re-imposition of restrictions, for containing the spread of COVID-19 and the defaulter(s) shall also be liable for action under the relevant laws.
5. It is emphasized that the second wave of COVID is not yet over. We ought to remember that while the reach of vaccination is increasing considerably, there is no room for complacency and hence COVID appropriate behaviour must continued in line with our philosophy of ……….. Testing needs to be continued virus and early identification of cases.
6. You would appreciate that we must guard ourselves against complacency and laxity, which creep in as positivity declines. Instead, during the periods of low positivity, efforts must be stepped up to prevent any probable future surge.
7. There should be continuous focus on the five-fold strategy for effective management of COVID-19 i.e. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behavior.
8. I would, therefore, urge you to issue strict directions to the district and all other local authorities concerned, to regulate the crowded places and take necessary _measures for management of COVID-19. The officers concerned should be made personally responsible for any laxity in strict enforcement of COVID appropriate behaviour. I would also advise that Orders issued by the respective State Governments/UT Administrations/district authorities in this regard, should be widely disseminated to the public and to the field functionaries, for their proper implementation.