The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued an advisory to states and union territories over “blatant violations of Covid norms” and directed states to make officers personally responsible for strict enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour.

The ministry said that with the country witnessing a dip in the number of active COVID-19 and with states and Union Territories have started reopening their activities gradually, blatant violations of Covid norms have been observed in several parts of the country, especially in hill stations.

In its advisory to chief secretaries and administrators of the states and UTs, the MHA said: “Massive crowds are thronging the marketplaces, violating norms of social distancing. Consequently, increase in ‘R’ factor (reproduction number) in some states is a matter of concern.”

“Consequently, an increase in the ‘R’ factor (reproduction number) in some of the states is a matter of concern. Any increase in the ‘R’ factor above 1.0 is an indicator of the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, it is important that the authorities concerned are made responsible for ensuring Covid-Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in all crowded places such as shops, malls, markets, restaurants, railway stations, and other hotspots.”

As per the latest advisory, if the Covid appropriate behaviour is not maintained at any establishment/premises/markets etc., such places shall be liable for the re-imposition of restrictions.

There should be a continuous focus on the fivefold strategy for effective management of Covid-19 test, track, treat, vaccination, and adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour, the ministry said. (ANI)