Home Ministry issues new COVID guidelines for December

States/UTs mandated to strictly adhere to containment measures, SOPs on various activities and COVID-appropriate behavior

Home Ministry issues new COVID guidelines for December

For representation only. PTI file photo

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 25

Noting that the main focus now is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued on Wednesday an order with guidelines for “surveillance, containment and caution”, which will be effective between December 1 and 31.

In th guidelines the MHA said, keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in a few States and Union Territories (UTs), it is emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic, “there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy”, which is focused on “surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines/ SOPs” issued by MHA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW).

“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,” it said.

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods, it said, adding that for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries, no restrictions can be imposed. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements, it added.

Here are the main points of the new guidelines

Surveillance and Containment

---States/ UTs must ensure careful demarcation of containment zones by the district authorities, at the micro level

--- List of containment zones must be notified on the websites of district collectors and States/ UTs. List should also be shared with MoHFW.

---The following containment measures prescribed by MoHFW must be strictly followed in containment zones:

  • Only essential activities to be allowed in the Containment Zones
  • 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 
  • Intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams
  • Testing to be carried out as per prescribed protocol. 
  • Listing of contacts to be conducted in respect of all people 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 in treatment facilities/ home (subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines).
  • Prescribed clinical interventions to be administered
  • Surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases to be conducted 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 to 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

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 up to 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.

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