New Delhi: Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to all states and UTs has said there is a need for maintaining caution and strict surveillance to fully overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged the officials to ensure the compliance of the guidelines.

“As you are aware, the number of active cases and new cases in the country has substantially declined over the last few months. However, there is a need for maintaining caution and strict surveillance so as to fully overcome the pandemic,” he said in his letter.

"All activities have been permitted, subject to following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), issued by respective administrative ministry and department as well as the SOPs, which are to be issued by the states and UTs," Bhalla wrote.

On Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order to extend the existing Covid-19 guidelines for surveillance, containment, and caution to remain in force up to March 31.

The Union Home Secretary further reiterated that there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross-land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring nations.

The Centre has also advised taking strict containment measures followed within the containment zones. States and Union Territories have been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic.

Asserting that there is a concomitant need to exercise care, the home secretary added - “States/UTs, based on their assessment, may impose local restrictions to contain the spread of the virus, such as night curfew”.