New Delhi: Amid the rising Omicron cases across the country, the Centre on Monday extended the enforcement of nationwide Covid-19 containment measures until January 31.
Referring to the increased Covid-19 Omicron variant cases, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory to all the states and Union Territories (UTs), directing them to implement a "normative framework for taking evidence-based containment measures at district and local level and extended the Covid-19 containment measures till January 31 next year.
It is further directed that the National Directives for Covid-19 management shall continue to be strictly followed throughout the country and all the district magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures.
"For the enforcement of social distancing, state and UT governments may as far as possible
use the provisions of Section 144 of the CrPC of 1973," mentions the advisory.
According to the order, any person violating these Covid-19 containment measures would be "liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions, as applicable."
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also wrote a letter to the Chief Secretaries to all states and stressed on the need for "greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making, and strict and prompt containment actions at the local and district levels, based on the assessment of the situation".
The Home Secretary asked the Chief Secretaries to issue necessary directions to the districts and all other local authorities concerned to take necessary measures for prompt and effective management of Covid-19, strict compliance with various advisories issued by the MoHFW on the new VOC, and strict enforcement of Covid-appropriate behaviour.
He said the "states might consider imposing need-based, local curbs and restrictions, to control the crowd during the festive season".
The Home Secretary emphasised that there should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy-- Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour-- to avoid the possibility of a surge in Covid-19 cases, especially keeping in view rising Omicron cases.