• Center sends message for States with Covid curbs still up

    Digital Desk: As the number of new coronavirus infections falls across the country, the federal government has asked states and union territories to reconsider, amend, or remove COVID-19 limitations based on the pattern of new cases and positive rates in respective areas. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan wrote to Chief Secretaries and Chief Administrators of all states and union territories on Wednesday, saying the coronavirus pandemic in India has declined since January 21. Last week's average daily instances were 50,476, with 27,409 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. On Wednesday, the daily case positive rate fell to 3.63 percent. As the number of instances increased in recent months, he said that some states imposed further restrictions at their borders and airports. Also Read: Google celebrates winter solstice with a cute hedgehog doodle Bhushan wrote in the letter that while efficiently handling the public health challenge of COVID-19, it is also critical that people's movement and economic activity are not impeded by extra limitations placed at state-level points of entry. "As the case trajectory across the country is currently displaying a persistent decrease trend," he stated, "it will be good if states/UTs examine and amend/do away with the additional limits thus imposed after considering the trend of new cases, active cases, and positive within the state and UT." Existing guidelines targeted at reducing virus transmission and circulation have been reviewed and amended in light of the evolving epidemiology of the pandemic globally and India. On February 10, the Union Ministry of Health amended its standards for international arrivals, he said. Bhushan emphasized the importance of states and union territories continuing to track the progression of cases and the transmission of infection daily. He added that they could also use the comprehensive five-step plan of Test Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behavior. "I'm confident that under your ongoing leadership, the state and UT will continue to handle the COVID-19 crisis while minimizing its impact on people's lives and livelihoods," Bhushan wrote.

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