Centre asks states to ensure that people follow COVID-appropriate behaviour

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) The Centre asked the states and Union territories on Friday to ensure that people follow COVID-appropriate behaviour like wearing of face masks, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing in view of a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus cases in parts of the country.

In a communication to the chief secretaries of all the states and Union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the states and UTs have been mandated to take all necessary measures to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour and ensure that people wear face masks, maintain hand hygiene and social distancing. Further, these measures are also included in the National Directives for COVID-19 Management, which have to be strictly followed throughout the country.

'After a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases for about five months, for the last few weeks, the number is showing an increasing trend in several parts of the country.

'It has been observed that it is largely due to laxity in the observance of COVID-appropriate behaviour by people, especially at crowded places,' Bhalla said.

He said keeping in view the fresh spike in the number of cases and the upcoming festivals, it will be important to ensure compliance of the guidelines and strictly enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing of face masks, maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing among people.

'I would, therefore, urge you to take the necessary measures for creating awareness among people to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and simultaneously take the necessary action for its strict enforcement, so as to fully overcome the pandemic,' the home secretary said. PTI ACB RC