'Increase in R factor matter of concern': Centre asks states, UTs to focus on 5-fold strategy for COVID management
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the concern over the gross violation of COVID norms in several parts of the country, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Wednesday wrote a letter to Chief Secretaries and Administrators of State/UTs, directing them to continuously focus on the five-fold strategy for effective management of COVID-19 i.e. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour.
Asserting that the second wave of COVID is not yet over, the letter said, "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 continue in line with our philosophy of 'Dawai bhi, Kadaai bhi.'
He urged them to issue strict directions to the district and other local authorities to regulate the crowded places and take necessary measures for the management of COVID-19. Bhalla in his letter said that consequently, an increase in the 'R' factor (Reproduction number) in some of the states, is a matter of concern. The letter pointed out that any increase in 'R' factor above 1.0 is an indicator of the 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 and bars, mandis, bus stations, railway platforms/stations, public parks & 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, Bhalla said in his letter to the states/UTs, said the Home Secretary in his letter.
The letter stated that 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 the earlier letter, the process of relaxing restrictions should be carefully calibrated, it said.
"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 marketplaces, violating norms of social distancing," it read.
He further emphasised the need to ensure 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.
Bhalla also advised people to guard themselves against complacency and laxity, which creeps in as positivity declines. "Instead, during the periods of low positivity, efforts must be stepped up to prevent any probable future surge," said the letter. He urged the district and all other local authorities concerned, to regulate the crowded places and take necessary measures for the management of COVID-19.
(With ANI Inputs)
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan