Home Secretary reviews COVID-19 situation in hill stations, tourist locations

Ajay Bhalla also stressed that the second wave of the pandemic is not yet over.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday reviewed the steps taken by State governments for checking the spread of COVID-19 in hill stations and other tourist destinations.

The overall management of the situation and the vaccination status in Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal was discussed.

“The Union Home Secretary sounded a note of caution in view of media reports showing blatant disregard of COVID-appropriate behaviour,” said a government release.

Mr. Bhalla said the second wave was not yet over; and the States should ensure strict adherence to the protocols prescribed in respect of wearing of masks, social distancing and other safe behaviour.

The case positivity rate in certain districts of Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh was over 10%, which was a cause for concern.

The States were asked to follow the five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate and COVID appropriate behaviour, as laid down in the Ministry of Home Affairs order dated June 29.

“Adequate health infrastructure preparedness [especially in rural, peri-urban and tribal areas] was also advised, to tackle any potential future surge,” it said.

Among those who attended the meeting were NITI Aayog Member (Health) V.K. Paul, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Indian Council for Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava, the Chief Secretaries, DGPs and Principal Secretaries (Health) of the eight States.

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