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Centre asks States, UTs to augment pace of second dose of COVID vaccination

Also asks them not to lower guard during festival season

Centre asks States, UTs to augment pace of second dose of COVID vaccination
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Centre has asked states and Union Territories not to let their guards down against COVID-19 in view of the upcoming festive season. In a letter, Union Health Secretary, Rajesh Bhushan asked for strict enforcement of laid down guidelines for allowing festivities in a cautious, safe and COVID appropriate manner.

No mass gathering should be allowed in areas identified as containment zones and in districts reporting more than five percent COVID-19 test confirmation rates. He said, necessary directions should be issued adequately in advance by the concerned state governments for practicing cautions during the festivities. Gatherings that are allowed with advance permission and a limited number of people should be closely monitored and in case of violations of COVID appropriate behavior, necessary enforcement and penal actions should be taken.

The Health Secretary said, there should be strict adherence to limits on public gatherings taking into account availability of space to ensure effective physical distancing. States and UTs need to continue diligent focus on five pillars of COVID-19 management Track-Treat-Vaccinate and COVID appropriate behavior.

Mr. Bhushan said, it is crucial that District Health Authorities keep a strict watch over local trajectory cases and institute timely and rigorous public health interventions based on the advisories issued by the Union Health Ministry from time to time. States and UTs are further requested to ensure that non-adherence to COVID Appropriate behavior in public places is dealt with strongly.

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