New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to all chief secretaries asking them to ensure compliance of lockdown guidelines, saying it has been brought to the Home Ministry's notice that there are violations in implementing the prescribed measures at various places.
"It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry, through media reports and other sources, that there are violations, at various places, in the implementation of MHA Guidelines. I would like to emphasise that the MHA Guidelines should be strictly implemented, and all authorities in states/UTs should take necessary steps to ensure the same. Some of the specific points that merit special consideration are mentioned below," Bhalla said in the letter written on Thursday.
He said that proper delineation of containment zones and effective implementation of containment measures within these zones is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
"In this respect, the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) need to be followed, and containment zones properly demarcated," he said.
Bhalla has also said that states and Union Territories can now delineate various zones and decide on the activities to be prohibited, or allowed with restrictions, in accordance with the MHA guidelines.
He said the need to ensure night curfew or prohibition of all non-essential activities, between 7 pm and 7 am is an important element of the MHA guidelines.
"Once the guidelines have been issued by the states and UTs, they should be strictly implemented, and action taken if any deviations are noticed. The night curfew has been mandated with a view to ensure that people observe social distancing and to contain the risk of spread of infection. Accordingly, local authorities should be asked to issue orders in the entirety of their jurisdiction, under proper provisions of law, for the imposition of night curfew. Strict compliance of these orders should be ensured by the local authorities," the Home Secretary said.
Bhalla said that the national directives for COVID-19 management should be followed throughout the country.
"These stipulations, such as wearing face covers, ensuring social distancing at work, transport and in public places, maintaining hygiene and sanitation etc., are important for containing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting individuals and the community. It is the duty of all district and local authorities to enforce the national directives," the letter said.
Bhalla urged chief secretaries and administrators of Union Territories to remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and ensure that all measures that have either been mandated by MHA, or laid down by the states and UTs, are scrupulously adhered to at all levels.
The lockdown, with prescribed relaxations, has been extended till May 31 to contain the spread of coronavirus. (ANI)