Allow activities with risk assessment-based approach, Centre to states

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Amid declining Covid cases nationwide, the Centre on Wednesday asked states to follow a risk assessment-based approach in the opening of economic and social activities.

In a letter to all states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “Taking into account the sustained and deep decline in Covid-19 cases across the country, the states and UTs have been undertaking various measures to reopen economic and social activities. There is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach in the opening of economic and social activities without losing the gains made so far in the fight against pandemic.

“There should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy i.e. test, track, treat, vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.”

Social, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious and festival-related and other gatherings and congregations may be resumed, he said, adding that the decision for allowing these activities shall be taken up by the states concerned, duly guided by the principles.

He also said that offline classes can be resumed in academic institutions without any restrictions. Offices, both government and private, can resume without any capacity restrictions. Public transport can also operate without any cap on seating, he said in the letter.

Bhushan also asked states to enforce norms like wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing in all public spaces.

“While allowing all such activities, it is imperative that the adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour, including use of mask and physical distancing, shall be followed in all public places,” he said.

Emphasising on evidence-based decision making with regards to further relaxations of Covid norms, he said that at the district level, there should be constant review of emerging data of new cases based on a sustained and critical level of testing.

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