The Centre on Saturday (July,10,2021) informed the Delhi High Court that it has asked all states and Union territories (UT) to strictly follow the National Directives for COVID-19 management and take required action under the Disaster Management Act,2005.
It has also stated that the Centre has also shared the framework for implementation of prompt and target action to be taken by the States.
The statement was made in a status report filed by the Centre through its standing counsel Anil Soni in connection with the high court's Suo Motu proceedings on violation of COVID-19 protocols in various markets in the national capital.
The national directives for COVID-19 management include face coverings, social distancing, not spitting in public places, work from home, staggering work/business hours, screening and hygiene, and frequent sanitization.
A bench of Delhi high court comprising Judge Navin Chawla and Judge Asha Menon had taken cognizance of the images received via WhatsApp showing people not wearing masks, not following Covid19 protocols, such as physical distancing, socializing in crowded markets.
MHA (Minister of Health Affairs) has notified the court that it has issued an order dated June 29,2021 under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, ordering states and UT’s to consider implementing “target and prompt actions’ for the management of COVID 19 by July 31, 2021, and take necessary measures by the act.
Through the issuance of guidelines, monitoring mechanisms, and five-fold strategies to be followed for effective management of covid 19, the order instructs states to monitor areas with the highest number of active covid cases per million population, because this is an important indicator to predict the need of upgraded health infrastructure and logistics to deal with the crisis.
The five-fold strategy involves test, track, treat, vaccinate, and adherence to Covid's appropriate behavior.
It was also informed that the Union Home Secretary wrote a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs on June 29, 2021, urging and emphasizing the effective management of Covid by complying with the advisories issued by the MHA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The letter reads: “To reiterate, COVID appropriate behavior includes mandatory use of masks, hand hygiene, following physical/ social distancing (2 gaj ki doori) and proper ventilation of closed places. While easing restrictions, it must be ensured that there is no let-up in adherence to COVID appropriate behavior”