Disaster Management Act eased as Covid cases fall

New Delhi, March 23 : Amid drastically falling Covid-19 cases, the Centre on Wednesday urged states and on Territories to discontinue the invocation of the Disaster Management Act (DMA), two years after it was clamped. The Ministry of Home Affairs officials clarified the act has not been revoked, and can be re-invoked if needed. A letter written by on Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, however, told Chief Secretaries that the Covid-19 containment measures including the use of face masks and hand hygiene will continue to guide the response to the pandemic. On March 24, 2020, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) directed the invocation of the Disaster Management Act to contain Covid-19. Bhalla’s letter mentioned that there has been a sharp decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country over the past seven weeks. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 and the daily positivity rate has fallen to 0.28 per cent. Also, over 180 crore doses of vaccines have been administered. “I would, therefore, 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 Tuesday letter. ASH MR ING

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