MHA says states not demarcating containment zones properly

MHA says states not demarcating containment zones properly

Indicating that states were not carrying out proper notification of Covid containment zones, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to state governments to strictly follow the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s directives in the matter. It has also told states that its lockdown guidelines are being violated and emphasised the need to strictly enforce night curfew.

Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a letter to states, said, “It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry, through media reports and others 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.”

Bhalla specifically picked out the issue of notification of containment zones in this context. “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 and Family Welfare (MoHFW) need to be followed, and containment zones properly demarcated,” his letter said.

The letter comes in the backdrop of reports that in some states, particularly Delhi, the number of containment zones has been decreasing despite an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.

“States and UTs can now delineate various zones, and decide on the activities to be prohibited, or allowed with restrictions, in accordance with the MHA guidelines. Further, 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 letter said.

The MHA, in its lockdown guidelines on May 17, had given states the freedom to notify zones based on MoHFW parameters.