The Central Government on February 16, 2022 asked all States and Union Territories to review, amend or eliminate additional COVID-19 restrictions in view of the decline in overall COVID-19 cases in the country.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan sent a letter to all state health secretaries, saying, “The COVID-19 pandemic in India is showing a continuous declining trend since January 21, 2022. The average daily cases during the last week stood at 50,476. ”
The Health Secretary said that the current case trajectory shows a steady decline of COVID cases across the country. He said in the letter that it would be useful if the states/UTs review the additional restrictions after considering the trend of new cases, active cases and positivity within the state/UT.
India recorded 30,757 new cases, 67,538 cured and 541 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily case positivity has come down to 2.61 per cent.
Why has the Center asked states to lift additional COVID-19 restrictions?
The Union Health Secretary informed that the Center is modifying the existing guidelines and aims to ease restrictions in line with the “changing epidemiology of the COVID-19 virus globally”.
The Health Secretary further asked the state governments to relax restrictions at their borders and airports so that there could be smooth movement of people and the economy.
He further asked all the States and Union Territories to continue monitoring the pace of cases on a daily basis and follow a five-fold strategy of testing, tracking, treating, vaccinating and adhering to COVID-appropriate behaviour.
India revises international travel guidelines
India has also revised its international travel guidelines with effect from February 10, 2022, removing the tagging of countries already at risk.
The Center has also removed the mandatory 7-day quarantine guidelines for international arrivals in India.
The latest guidelines also do away with the requirement of a mandatory RT-PCR report (taken 72 hours before the journey) if the passengers have their complete vaccination certificate.