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Home Ministry revokes Covid-19 containment measures after 2 years; wearing face masks to stay

The Central government had on March 24, 2020, issued for the first time orders and guidelines for the containment of Covid-19 in the country.

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Given the continuous dip in coronavirus cases, the home ministry has decided to end all its Covid-19 containment measures from March 31, two years after their implementation following the outbreak of the pandemic.
However, wearing of face mask and maintaining social distancing norms will continue as earlier.

The Central government had on March 24, 2020, issued for the first time orders and guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, (DM Act) 2005 for the containment of Covid-19 in the country and these have been modified on various occasions.

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In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that over the last 24 months, significant capacities have been developed for various aspects of management of the pandemic, such as diagnostics, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment, vaccination, hospital infrastructure.

Also, the general public now has a much higher level of awareness on the Covid-appropriate behavior, he said.

The states and Union Territories have also developed their capacities and systems and implemented their detailed specific plans for managing the pandemic, he said, adding over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases.

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The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only (on March 22) and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28 percent, he said.

"After taking into consideration the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, National Disaster Management Authority has taken a decision that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the DM Act for Covid containment measures," the communication said.

Accordingly, Bhalla said, after the expiry of the existing order on March 31, no further order will be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Home Secretary, however, said that given the nature of the disease, people still need to remain watchful of the situation.

The states and UTs may continue to follow the Standard Operating Measures and advisories that have been or are being issued by the Ministry of Health from time to time for containment measures, vaccination and other related aspects, he said

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