New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: With the country uplifting lockdowns and other coronavirus-induced curbs after a decline in cases, the Union Home Ministry has warned against laxity and asked states and union territories (UTs) to ensure that there is no complacency in adhering to COVID appropriate behaviour.

In a letter to all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that the administration must focus on the strategy of "test-track-treat" to ensure that cases do not rise again.

Noting that vaccination is critical to break the chain of transmission, Bhalla said that states and UTs must increase the pace of the inoculation drive "to cover maximum number of people in an expeditious manner".

"With a decline in the number of active cases, many states and UTs have started relaxing restrictions. I would like to highlight that the decision to impose or ease restrictions has to be taken, based on the assessment of the situation at the ground level," he said.

"While opening up, it would be extremely important to follow the five-fold strategy of Covid appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination," he added.

The Union Home secretary further said that states and UTs must ensure that COVID appropriate behaviour that includes compulsory use of masks and social distancing must be followed to break the chain of the virus.

"However, easing of restrictions in some states, have led to resumption of crowding of people in markets etc., without adherence to the norms of Covid appropriate behaviour," he said.

Bhalla said to contain the spread of the infection on a sustainable basis, it is necessary to continue the strategy of test-track-treat. It may especially be ensured that the testing rate does not come down, he said.

Bhalla said as the situation is dynamic, a close watch needs to be kept on early signs of a surge in active cases or high positivity rates.

He said a system should be in place at the micro-level to ensure that whenever cases rise in a smaller place, it gets checked there itself, through local containment measures as per the existing guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

"I, therefore, urge you to issue directions to district and all other authorities concerned, to keep a close watch on the situation, while activities are opened in a cautious manner, and to scrupulously ensure that there is no complacency in adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour and in the test-track-treat-vaccinate strategy," Bhalla said in his communication to states and UTs.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma