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New MHA COVID-19 pandemic norms: Remember these for whole of December

11:11 PM Nov 25, 2020 | Sanjay Jog

NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry has issued new guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution, which will be in force from December 1 to 31 to tackle the further spread of the pandemic. It also incorporates a list of 19 SOPs (standard operating procedures) issued from time to time to regulate the permitted activities, putting the onus on the states and UTs to enforce them, while empowering them to impose local restrictions as well to contain the dreaded virus.

The containment measures to be followed in demarcated containment zones include

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1. Only essential activities allowed;

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2. No movement of people in and out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and supply of essential goods and services;

3. Intensive house-to-house surveillance;

4. Testing as per prescribed protocol;

5. Listing of contacts of all persons found positive; to be quarantined for 14 days;

6. Quick isolation of Covid-19 patients for treatment and home isolation;

7. Clinical intervention; and

8. Surveillance by health staff or mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones.

The Home Ministry also clarified that all activities are permitted outside containment zones, except for the following which are permitted with certain restrictions:

1. International air travel of passengers, as permitted by MHA.

2. Cinema halls and theatres, with up to 50 percent capacity.

3. Swimming pools, only for training of sports persons.

4. Exhibition halls, only for business to business (B2B) purposes.

5. Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, with up to a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces; and keeping the size of the ground/ space in view. However, based on their assessment of the situation, State/ UT Governments may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less, in closed spaces.

The ministry also clarified that there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.

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