Time to open economy but with caution: Centre tells states

In view of the decline in COVID-19 cases, the Center on Wednesday asked states to follow a risk assessment-based approach on opening up of economic and social activities. The Union Health Ministry, however, suggested necessary restrictions in areas reporting more than 10 per cent positivity rate or 40 per cent occupancy in oxygen supported or ICU beds.

The government emphasized the continued focus on the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour, while stating that the number of cases has seen a steady and significant decline over the past few months.

In a letter to the States and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan asked them to ensure adequate availability of dedicated COVID health infrastructure as per the ongoing case and enable them to fully extend non-COVID health services in all health facilities. Also instructed to start.

He also underlined the need to follow home isolation protocol for asymptomatic and mild cases, and continued specific surveillance of high-risk cases.

Bhushan said that social, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural, religious, festival related and other gatherings and gatherings can be resumed, provided the appropriate COVID practices are followed duly.

Offline classes can be resumed in educational institutions without any restrictions. However, educational institutions can also take advantage of the hybrid model of education, he said.

Bhushan further said that marriages and funerals may be allowed and all shopping complexes, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas, swimming pools and religious places may be allowed to operate at full capacity. Is.

Public transport (railway, metro, bus, cab) can operate without any capacity restrictions. Also, there will be no restriction on inter-state and inter-state movement, including transport of essential goods.

In addition, all offices – government and private – can function without any capacity restrictions, and all industrial and scientific establishments may be permitted, he said in the letter.

Bhushan said, “While allowing all such activities, it is imperative that all public places follow COVID appropriate behavior including use of masks and physical distancing.” For local epidemiological situation based on continuous critical level of testing and monitoring.

He asked the states to ensure 100% vaccination of all eligible age groups with special focus on covering the left out beneficiaries.

Precautionary dosing and vaccination should also be administered among young adolescents (12 years and older) to all eligible people. He said that services should be resumed while promoting 100% vaccination of eligible staff members.

“Keeping in view the continuous and steep decline in COVID-19 cases across the country, the States and Union Territories are taking various measures to reopen economic and social activities. Need to follow a risk assessment-based approach Opening up of economic and social activities without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic,” Bhushan said.

He said that at the district level, there should be a continuous review of the emerging data of new cases based on a continuous and critical level of testing so as to facilitate evidence-based decision on restrictions and relaxations.

“States need to look at the trajectory of cases in particular geographic areas to ensure that areas reporting positivity rates above 10 per cent and bed occupancy of more than 40 per cent on oxygen supported or ICU beds require enforcement, prevention. And restriction measures must be taken,” his letter read.

As the case trajectory may differ from state to state and the spread of infection within the states will also vary, the decision regarding containment and restriction measures need to be taken by the state preferably at the local/sub national level. and the concerned district administration, he said.

Bhushan stressed on adequate testing and surveillance of Influenza-like illness and Severe acute respiratory infections in all health facilities regularly for early warning signs.

They also underlined the need for continued focus on genomic sequencing of prescribed samples of international travelers, collection of samples from sentinel sites (identified health facilities) and local clusters of cases, duly following the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Initial To catch warning signs. Variants.

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