New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday introduced a new set of guidelines to mitigate the spread of covid-19 infection which has claimed hundreds of thousand lives in the country. The guidelines, which are issued for Surveillance, Containment and Caution of the pandemic, will be effective from December 1 and remain active till December 31.
The decision to impose new guidelines comes after several states and metro cities including the national capital continue to see rise in infections after the festive season. It is also estimated that the ongoing winter season has also added to the vulnerable covid-19 situation across the country.
The guidelines are flexile as states and UTs can impose local restriction as per the covid-19 situation in their geographical area, the home ministry said. In the containment zones, only essential services would be allowed with govt keeping close watch on every house.
"Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19,"the home ministry said.
“In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is in more than 10 percent, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, with a view to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time, thereby ensuring social distancing,” it said in a statement.
Check out the full set of guidelines here:
Surveillance and Containment
*Only essential activities shall be allowed in the Containment Zones.
*There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
*There shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams formed for the purpose.
*Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol.
*Listing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up of contacts for 14 days (80 percent of contacts to be traced in 72 hours).
*Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities/ home (subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines).
*Clinical interventions, as prescribed, shall be administered.
*Surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases shall be carried out in health facilities or outreach mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones.
*Awareness shall be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
*Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed and State/ UT Governments shall ensure the accountability of the officers concerned in this regard.
*State/ UT Governments shall take all necssary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behavior and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.
*In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, States and UTs may consider administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines, on persons not wearing face masks in public and work spaces.
*For observance of social distancing in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars and public transport,Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will issue a SOP, which shall be strictly enforced by States and UTs.
*National Directives for COVID-19 Management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce COVID-19 appropriate behavior.
*Strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs
All activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except for the following, which have been permitted with certain restrictions:
*International air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA.
*Cinema halls and theatres, with upto 50 percent capacity.
*Swimming pools, only for training of sports persons.
*Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.
*Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with upto a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground/ space in view, in open spaces.
However, based on their assessment of the situation, State/ UT Governments may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less, in closed spaces.
For the information of all, the Guidelines enclose a list of 19 SOPs that have been issued from time to time to regulate the activities that have been permitted. These SOPs shall be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance.
The guidelines further said that States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew. However, State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government, it added.
No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement
"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 countries. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
Protection for vulnerable persons," the guidelines said.
Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
Use of Aarogya Setu
The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.