Centre tells States to keep strict vigil to curb ‘super spreader events’ on New Year

at 3:08 pm
COVID-19 vaccinations
Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan (File photo)

New Delhi (NVI): The Central Government today asked all States to keep a strict vigil on all New Year events that could be potential COVID-19 “super-spreader”, amid concerns over the new strain of the coronavirus.

In a letter to all States and Union Territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has asked them to curb crowding as a precautionary measure during the winter season.

“Union Health Secretary has written to all the States to keep a strict vigil on all events that could be potential “super spreader” events, and to curb crowding in the wake of the New Year celebrations and various events associated with it as well as on-going winter season,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The recent advice and guidance to the States by Home Ministry has been reiterated by the Health Secretary, it added.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs has mandated that States and UTs based on their assessment of the situation and state authorities may impose local restrictions such as night curfew, with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19,” Bhushan said in the letter.

However, there shall be no restriction on interstate and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

“Drawing attention to this, the health secretary also urged the states to promptly assess the local situation and consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on December 30 and 31, as well as on January 1, 2021,” the statement noted.

Earlier today, the Centre extended the suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom till January 7, in view of new coronavirus strain discovered in Britain.

The decision was taken on the recommendations of a Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) headed by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and the National Task Force jointly headed by DG, ICMR and Member (Health), NITI Aayog, the ministry said.