No COVID restrictions in India from March 31, says GoI

A health care employee donned COVID kit stands outside hospital in Kashmir. [FPK Photo/Zainab.]

New Delhi: As the number of COVID infections show a decline in India, the country’s Home Ministry has decided to end all COVID 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 government of India 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 in the country and these have been modified on various occasions.

In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states, Home Secretary of India 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 own 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.

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

However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advisories on COVID containment measures, including on the use of face masks and hand hygiene, will continue to guide the overall response to the pandemic, he said.


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