New Delhi: The home ministry has written to all states and Union Territories expressing concern over “blatant violation” of Covid norms in several parts of the country and consequent increase in “R” factor (reproduction number) in some states.
The home secretary has asked states to issue strict directions to the local authorities to regulate crowded places, take action against violators as per law and ensure that concerned authorities and officials are held accountable in case of any laxity in enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour.
The MHA expressed special concern over crowds violating norms in hill stations and market places. In his letter, home secretary Ajay Bhalla said while with the decline in number of active case, states and UTs have started ‘unlocking’ in a gradual manner, the process should be carefully calibrated. He also cited the June 29 order by the MHA for implementation of targeted and prompt actions for Covid-19 management.
“However, blatant violations of Covid norms have been observed in several parts of country, especially in public transport and at hill stations. Massive crowds are also thronging the market places, violating norms of social distancing. Consequently increase in R factor (reproduction number) in some of the states is a matter of concern,” he said. The letter emphasised that the second wave of Covid is not yet over.
The MHA said that states must be aware any increase in R factor above 1.0 is an indicator of the spread of Covid-19.
“Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned shall be responsible for ensuring Covid appropriate behaviour in all crowded places, such markets, restaurants, bus stations, railway platforms, public parks, banquet and marriage halls, sports complexes and all areas identified as hotspots for transmission of the virus,” Bhalla said.