New Delhi : Viewing the New Year celebrations as a potential superspreader of Covid 19, the Centre on Wednesday asked states and Union territories to be vigilant.
"The Union Health Secretary has written to all the states to keep a strict vigil on all events that could be potential "superspreader" events, and to curb crowding in the wake of the New Year celebrations and various events associated with it as well as on-going winter season," the ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has mandated that States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions such as night curfew for containing the spread of Covid-19.
The Health Secretary has urged the States to promptly assess the local situation and consider imposition of appropriate restrictions on December 30 and 31, 2020 as well as on January 1, 2021.
Earlier today, the Centre extended the suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom till January 7 amid alarm over the new highly contagious strain of the coronavirus.
The decision was taken on the recommendations of a Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) headed by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and the National Task Force jointly headed by DG, ICMR and Member (Health), NITI Aayog.
"It has also been suggested to Ministry of Civil Aviation that after January 7, 2021, strictly regulated resumption of limited number of flights originating from UK into India may be considered," the statement by the health ministry read.
After the British Government identified new strain of the virus, which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, India joined a list of nations halting flights to and from UK alongside tightening checks at airports.
Twenty cases have been found positive for the new variant in India from a total of 107 samples put to genome sequencing till now.
The new variant has been reported by Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore.
IANS report with edits