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Festive Season Ahead: Centre Extends COVID Containment Measures Till Oct 31, Asks States To Keep Strict Vigil

New Delhi: In view of the upcoming festive season and people expected to throng markets in large numbers, the Centre on Tuesday urged states to keep a strict vigil to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Centre has extended the COVID containment measures till October 31.

In a letter to the chief secretaries and administrators of all states and Union Territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla warned that the disease still remains a grave and continuing public health challenge in the country.

The daily COVID-19 cases and overall number of COVID-19 patients in the country are declining steadily. However, there are still localised spreads of the virus in few states and the virus still continues to be a public health challenge in our country, Bhalla said in his letter.

Expressing concern, he wrote: “With the decline in Covid-19 cases, there is a possibility that Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) is not adhered to strictly, especially during the upcoming festivals. It is, therefore, critical to enforce adherence to guidelines which allows regular festivities in a cautious, safe and Covid-appropriate manner and most vigil has to be maintained in respect of mass gathering events, so as to avoid any possibility of surge in Covid-19 cases.”

Warning that large-scale gatherings at fairs and religious events may lead to fresh surge in COVID cases, he asked the state governments and UTs to take pro-active containment measures so as to effectively arrest the spike in cases and contain the spread of transmission.

The Union Home Secretary also stressed on test-track-treat-vaccination strategy to check the spread of the virus.