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Opinion

MHA Issues New Covid-19 Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment, and Precaution

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The Union Ministry of the Interior published on Wednesday a new set of guidelines for surveillance, containment and precaution against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The new rules will go into effect on December 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until December 31.

According to Interior Minister Amit Shah’s call for “dynamic containment zones” during the prime minister’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the Covid-19 situation in the country, his ministry has asked the states and Union territories that guarantee the demarcation of containment zones by district authorities at the micro level.

The Covid-19 rules and containment measures prescribed by the Ministry of Health must be strictly a demarcated containment zone. There will be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, the MHA said in a statement.

Surveillance teams will carry out intensive house-to-house surveillance and rapid isolation of Covid-19 patients in treatment facilities or at home will be ensured, he added.

The Center has also allowed states to impose local restrictions, including nighttime curfews to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease. The states, however, cannot impose any local blockades, outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government.

He has also told states to ensure social distancing at workplaces. “In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is more than 10 percent, the states and UTs involved should consider implementing staggered office hours and other appropriate measures, with a view to reducing the number of employees who attend the office at the same time, thus ensuring social distancing, ”he said in a statement.

The Interior Ministry said the main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been made against the spread of Covid-19, which it said is visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country.

The new guidelines when India’s Covid-19 count has passed 9.22 million with 444,746 active cases. While the virus has claimed 134,699 lives, as many as 8,642,771 have recovered from the disease.

Hindustan Times

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