The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday decided to end all Covid-19 containment measures from March 31, PTI reported. The ministry said it has taken into consideration the overall improvement of the situation, including the continuous decline in cases.

However, people will have to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing, the National Disaster Management Authority said.

On March 24, 2020, the Centre had for the first time issued orders under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country. Provisions under the Act have been modified on various occasions, PTI reported.

While revoking the Act on Wednesday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that “significant capacities have developed” in the last 24 months while managing the Covid-19 pandemic. These include diagnostics, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment, vaccination and hospital infrastructure, he said.

Bhalla also mentioned that 181.56 crore vaccine doses had been administered in the country so far. India is currently vaccinating everyone aged above 12.

As of March 22, the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%, he added. The total active caseload until Tuesday stood at 23,913.

Bhalla said that the public was now more aware about following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

India on Sunday recorded 1,761 new coronavirus cases – lowest in 688 days.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of all states, Bhalla wrote that there has been a steep decline in the number of Covid-19 cases, PTI reported. He also appreciated the states and Union Territories for developing specific plans for managing the pandemic.

“After taking into consideration the overall improvement in the situation and preparedness of the Government to deal with the pandemic, National Disaster Management Authority has taken a decision that there may not be any further need to invoke the provisions of the Disaster Management Act for Covid containment measures,” the letter read.

While India continues to record low cases, infections are surging in South East Asia and other parts of the globe.