Night curfews allowed, closure needs approval from the Center in the new Covid protocol
Due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in various states, the Center on Wednesday allowed states and union territories to impose local restrictions, such as a night curfew, based on their assessment of the situation. However, they cannot impose any local blockades outside the containment zones without first consulting with the Center, according to an order issued by the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.
The MHA also said that state governments may consider implementing staggered office hours and other appropriate measures in cities where the weekly case positivity rate is more than 10 percent so that the number of employees attending meetings can be reduced. offices at the same time.
The new guidelines, called ‘Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Precaution’, will remain in effect from December 1 through December 31. They were issued a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a meeting with the chief ministers of various states during which the various leaders present pointed out the severity of the third wave of infection.
The order said that “the main focus of the latest guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been made in the face of the spread of Covid-19, which is visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country.”
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“In addition, considering the recent increase in new cases in some states / UT, the ongoing festival season and the onset of winter, it is emphasized that to fully overcome the pandemic, it is necessary to maintain caution and strictly follow the strategy of Prescribed containment, focused on surveillance, containment and strict compliance with the guidelines / SOP (standard operating procedures) issued by the MHA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, ”the order says.
He said the local district, police and municipal authorities will be responsible for ensuring that prescribed containment measures are strictly followed.
“The states and UT, based on their assessment of the situation, can impose local restrictions, with a view to containing the spread of Covid-19, such as the night curfew. However, the state / UT will not impose any local blockade (state / district / subdivision / city level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government, ”he said.
The MHA also gave state governments the freedom to take administrative action against people who do not follow basic Covid security measures. He said: “State / UT governments will take all necessary measures to promote appropriate Covid-19 behavior and ensure strict enforcement of the use of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.”
To enforce the basic requirement to wear face masks, states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including the “imposition of appropriate fines, on individuals who do not wear face masks in public and work spaces,” the MHA said.
For the observance of social distancing in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars and public transport, he said that the Ministry of Health will issue a POE shortly.
The ministry said there will be no restrictions on the interstate and intrastate movement of people and goods, including those for cross-border trade under treaties with neighboring countries. No separate electronic permission / approval / permission will be required for such moves.