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COVID-19: MHA issues guidelines for surveillance, containment, caution

Ministry of Home Affairs issues fresh guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution


The Union ministry of home affairs on Wednesday has released a fresh set of guidelines. It is for surveillance, containment and caution against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The new guidelines will be effective from December 1, 2020. It will remain till December 31.

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ANI tweeted,

As per the new guidelines The States and Union Territories have been mandated to strictly enforce containment measures. The local district, police and municipal authorities will be responsible to ensure that safety measures are being strictly followed.

The order from the MHA comes as India’s COVID-19 caseload stands at 92,22,216 in the country, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 1,34,699 with 481 new fatalities. The number of recoveries surged to 86.42 lakh.

Here is all you need to know about the new guidelines:

Surveillance and Containment

  • States/ UTs to ensure careful demarcation of Containment Zones by the district authorities.
  • The list of Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs. This list will also be shared with MoHFW.
  • Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures to be followed are
  • 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,
  • Only medical emergencies and Maintaining the supply of essential goods and services will be allowed.
  • There shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams formed for the purpose.
  • Testing shall be carried out as per the 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 per cent 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.

    COVID-Appropriate behaviour:

  • State/ UT Governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour 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 the imposition of appropriate fines.
  • 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 an 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 behaviour.
  • 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 up to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Swimming pools, only for the training of sportspersons.
  • Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.
  • Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, A ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces.
  •  State/ UT Governments may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less, in closed spaces if needed..

The SOPs shall be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance.

Local restrictions:

  • States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose night curfew, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • States and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices.
  • In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is in more than 10 per cent, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings
  • 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

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.

Also Read: COVID-19: 1cr frontline healthcare workers to receive vaccine in first phase

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