States and UTs, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, should rapidly increase it, to reach the prescribed level of 70 per cent or more, says govt
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday extended the guidelines pertaining to coronavirus in the country till 30 April, 2021, as well as maintained strict surveillance and caution during this period. The extended guidelines and SOPs will come into effect from 1 April in order to contain the spread of the vieus, MHA said in a statement.
Under the new guidelines, the government stressed increased testing and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour.
"Keeping in view a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, which is being witnessed in some parts of the country, the guidelines mandate the State/ UT Governments to strictly enforce the Test- Track-Treat protocol in all parts of the country; ensure observance of COVID appropriate behaviour by everyone; and, to scale up the vaccination drive, to cover all the target groups." the ministry stated.
States and UTs, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, should rapidly increase it, to reach the prescribed level of 70 percent or more.
The new positive cases, detected as a result of intensive testing, need to be isolated/ quarantined at the earliestand provided timely treatment. Further, as per the protocol, their contacts have to be traced at the earliest, and similarly isolated/ quarantined.
Based on the positive cases and tracking of their contacts, Containment Zones shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities, at the micro-level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard. Fr this, the government said that the list of Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs.
Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFW, shall be scrupulously followed, which include strict perimeter control, intensive house-to-house surveillance, contact tracing, ssurveillance for ILI/ SARI cases etc, the ministry added.
Local district, police and municipal authorities shall 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.
Apart from increased Covid-19 testing and containment measure, the ministry is also emphasised that in order to ensure that the resumption of activities is successful and to fully overcome the pandemic, "there is a need to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy, and strictly observe the guidelines/ SOPs issued by MHA and MOHFW and other Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government and State/ UT Governments."
Below are the other Covid-19 rules that are implemented till 30 April, until further order by the MHA:
COVID appropriate behaviour
State/ UT Governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in workplaces and in public, especially in crowded places.
For strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, States and UTs may consider administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines.
National Directives for COVID-19 Management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, at district/ sub-district and city/ ward level, with a view to containing the spread of COVID-19.
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.
Strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs
All activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones and SOPs have been prescribed for various activities. These include: movement by passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums; exhibitions, assemblies and congregations, etc.
The SOPs, as updated from time to time, shall be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance.
"Slow pace of vaccination in some states a matter of concern as inoculation is critical to break chain of coronavirus transmission," said Centre.
All State/ UT Governments should rapidly step up the pace of vaccination, to cover all priority groups in an expeditious manner.
The country has so far administered 4,84,94,594 anti-Covid jabs.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16 January with healthcare workers getting inoculated and vaccination of the frontline workers started from 2 February.
The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination commenced on 1 March for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions.
Meanwhile, after seeing an upward trend for nearly 12 days, India finally saw a decline in the daily new Covid-19 cases.
As many as 40,715 more people tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative tally to 1,16,86,796, said the Union health ministry on Tuesday.
While Maharashtra continues to be the biggest contributor to the daily count, the state also saw a slight drop in new cases on Tuesday, with 24,645 infections reported.