Omicron in India: Centre extends Covid-related restrictions till January 31, 2022


Guwahati: The Centre on Monday extended the existing Covid-related restrictions in the country till January 31, 2022, in view of the rising cases of Covid-19 and Omicron variant in the country.

In an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the local/district administrations have been advised to promptly take containment measures against threat of the Omicron variant based on their own assessment of the situation.

“States may consider imposing need-based local restrictions to control crowds during the festive season,” the order said.

The MHA order said that the guidelines issued on December 21 will be extended till January 31, 2022. In the December 21 guidelines, the Centre said that states/UTs must impose containment measures if Covid-19 testing shows more than 10 per cent positivity rate or if there is more than 40 per cent of hospital bed occupancy.

The order stated that all states and UTs must observe all precautions and not let the guard down. “The states are advised to follow test, track, treat, vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour,” the order reads.

“With distinct presence of Delta variant and detection of Omicron cases in many states, need for greater foresight, data analysis, dynamic decision making, and strict and prompt containment actions at local and district levels, based on assessment of situation,” the order stated.

The state governments should ensure that the health systems in the States are strengthened to meet any challenge posed by the new variant, the order said.

State governments and UT administrations should ensure that oxygen supply equipment are installed and are fully functional and the buffer stock of essential drugs maintained, it added.

On Monday, the number of Omicron cases in India rose to 578. Delhi and Maharashtra have reported 142 cases each.