With the emergence of the new strain of the COVID-19 infection, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a fresh order on Monday (December 28, 2020) to extend the existing COVID-19 guidelines (issued on November 25) for surveillance till January 31, 2021.
“While there has been a continuous decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution, keeping in view the surge in cases globally, and the emergence of a new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom (UK),” said the MHA.
The MHA added, “Accordingly, Containment Zones continue to be demarcated carefully; prescribed containment measures strictly followed within these zones; COVID-appropriate behaviour promoted and strictly enforced, and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prescribed in respect of various permitted activities followed scrupulously.”
“Therefore, the focused approach on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines/ SOPs issued by MHA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), as envisaged in the Guidelines issued on 25.11.2020; need to be enforced strictly by States and UTs,” stated the MHA.
What’s allowed, what’s not:
The guidelines issued on November 25 had instructed states to trace, track and quarantine 80 per cent contacts of a Covid-19 patient in 72 hours besides allowing states to implement staggered office timings in cities with higher positivity rates.
States were also allowed to impose local measures like night curfew.
Swimming pool activities will continue to remain suspended and will be allowed only for training of sportspersons. Exhibition halls will be allowed only for Business to Business purposes.
States are also allowed to reduce the number of people attending social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural, religious and other gatherings to 100 in closed places from the existing ceiling of 200 based on the ground situation.
States should also ensure careful demarcation of containment zones, where only essential services should be allowed.
Meanwhile, India reported 20,021 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,02,07,871, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Monday.
As many as 21,131 recoveries and 279 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry.
The total number of active cases stands at 2,77,301 while total recoveries are at 97,82,669 and the cumulative death toll stands at 1,47,901.
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