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Business News/ News / India/  MHA extends existing Covid-19 guidelines till 31 March. Details here
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MHA extends existing Covid-19 guidelines till 31 March. Details here

While there has been a substantial decline in the active and new coronavirus infections, there is a need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic, the MHA said

A man receives a Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN, at a vaccination centre, in New Delhi. (REUTERS)Premium
A man receives a Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine called COVAXIN, at a vaccination centre, in New Delhi. (REUTERS)

In view of rising Covid-19 cases, the Central Government on Friday extended the coronavirus containment guidelines it had issued earlier to 31 March this year.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an Order today to extend the existing Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution to remain in force upto 31.03.2021," an official release said.

The decision comes as around 16,577 people tested positive for the killer virus across the country in a span of 24 hours.

According to the statement, the MHA has asked the states to speed up the coronavirus vaccination drive.

While there has been a substantial decline in the active and new coronavirus infections, there is a need to maintain surveillance, containment, and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic, it added.

The Centre has also advised taking strict containment measures followed within the containment zones. States and Union Territories have been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic.

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, the home ministry said.

Therefore, the focussed approach on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines and SOPs, as envisaged in the guidelines issued on January 27 need to be enforced strictly by states and union territories, it added.

What the existing guidelines say

1) Cinema halls and theatres are allowed to operate with more people while swimming pools have also been permitted for use by all.

2) There is 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.

3) No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.

4) All activities have been permitted outside containment zones, except a few which will be subject to strict adherence of SOPs.

5) Social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural, religious gatherings have already been permitted up to a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 people in closed spaces; and keeping of the size of the ground or space in the view, in open spaces.

6) "Now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the state and UT concerned.

7) Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted up to 50% of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with MHA," the ministry said.

8) The guidelines said swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sportspersons. Now swimming pools will be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in consultation with MHA.

India Covid update

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached 1,10,63,491. India also saw 120 deaths due to the infection in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative toll to 1,56,825.

Further, a total of 12,179 people recovered from coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The total recoveries have reached 1,07,50,680.

Now, there are 1,55,986 active Covid-19 cases across the country, as of Friday morning. The number was 1,51,708 on Thursday, 1,46,907 on Wednesday while it was 1,47,306 on Tuesday.

The country has so far vaccinated 1,34,72,643 healthcare and frontline workers.

The vaccination drive in India began on 16 January with inoculation of healthcare workers.

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Published: 26 Feb 2021, 03:56 PM IST
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