On Tuesday, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) announced the revocation of the Disaster Management Act 2005 for COVID containment measures. This is exactly two years after the Central govt had imposed the ‘Janta Curfew’ as the beginning of a long standing battle against the corona virus outbreak in the year 2020.

Taking note of the NDMA recommendation, the Union Home Secretary yesterday wrote to the Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories to discontinue the orders and guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act for COVID containment measures. “I would advise all the States/UTs to consider appropriately discontinuing issue of orders and guidelines under the DM Act, 2005 for COVID containment measures”, the Home Secretary stated in the letter dated March 22.

The letter states that over the last 24 months, significant capacities have been developed for various aspects of management of the pandemic, such as diagnostics, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination, hospital infrastructure and the general public has much higher level of awareness on the CO VID appropriate behaviour. States and UTs have also developed their own capacities and systems and implemented their detailed State/UT specific plans for managing the pandemic.

The letter further stated that the total COVID caseload in the country stood at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate had declined to 0.28 percent. It added that a total of 181.56 crore vaccine doses had been administered. “Considering the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, NDMA has decided that DM Act will not be invoked after March 31 for Covid containment,” the letter by Bhalla read.

It therefore states that, “After taking into consideration the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, NDMA has taken a decision that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the DM Act for COVID containment measures.”

According to the NDMA, after the expiry of the existing MHA order dated February 25, no further order may be issued by MHA. However, it said that COVID containment measures, including the use of face masks and hand hygiene, will continue. NDMA further has stated that the states and UTs may act at the local level if they record a surge in the active corona virus cases.

According to the reports, India has reported 1,778 new COVID cases and 62 related deaths in the last 24 hours. With this India’s total tally of COVID cases have increased to 4,30,12,749 and the death toll has climbed to 5,16,605. The data revealed by the Union health ministry further says that the active cases have declined to 23,913, the recovery rate currently being at 98.75%.

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