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Pandemic not yet over, Union Home Secretary’s note of caution as he reviews states’ steps at tourist spots

Coronavirus. Stock Photo: Pixabay

New Delhi, July 10 (MNN) Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Saturday chaired a meeting here to review the steps taken by state governments to check the spread of COVID-19 in hill stations and other tourist locations.

The overall management of COVID-19 situation and vaccination status in respect of Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal was discussed.

The Home Secretary sounded a note of caution in view of media reports that pointed to blatant disregard of COVID-appropriate behaviour in hill stations and other tourist locations.

He emphasised that the second wave of COVID was not yet over and that the states should ensure strict adherence to the protocols prescribed in respect of wearing of masks, social distancing and other safe behaviour.

It was observed that the decline of the second wave is at variable stages in the different states and UTs in the country, and that while the overall case positivity rate may be declining, the case positivity rate in certain districts of Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh was over 10 per cent, which was a cause for concern.

States were also asked to follow the five-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and COVID-appropriate behaviour, as has been laid out in MHA order dated June 29, 2021.

Adequate health infrastructure preparedness (especially in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas) was also advised, with a view to tackle any potential surge in cases.

The meeting was attended by Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog; Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI; Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research; and Chief Secretaries, Directors General of Police and Principal Secretaries (Health) of the eight states.

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