SunstarTV Bureau: Keeping an eye on the rising cases of Covid-19 in numerous states, the Central Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines to be effective from December 1 till the end of the year 2020.
These guidelines are issued by the HAM came to surface after a vivid e-conference Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Ministers of numerous states like Odisha, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu along with West Bengal and six other states and Home Minister Amit Saha.
The guidelines allow States to impose local restrictions like night curfews but no lockdown, outside containment zones, without consulting the centre. There are no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movements and no additional passes or registration will be required for that.
The ministry in the order stated that, “ The main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 which is visible in the steady decline in the number of active cases in the country.”
These are the highlights from the MHA guidelines:
- The guidelines allow states and local authorities to impose local restrictions such as night curfew based on their assessment of the situation.
- However, the government shall not impose any local lockdown, outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the centre.
- Social distancing measures should be implemented in offices and in cities, where the weekly case positivity rate is in more than 10%
- Authorities can consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time.
- No restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movements and no additional passes or registration will be required for that.
- States and UTs should ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing must be followed.
- State authorities can impose appropriate fines on people for not wearing masks and adhering to social distancing norms.
- Social distancing guidelines should also be strictly followed in crowded places, especially in markets, weekly bazaars and public transport.
Surveillance and Containment
- States and UTs to ensure critical demarcation of containment zones at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
- Only essential activities shall be allowed in the Containment Zones.
- The authorities must ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and supply of essential goods.
- Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol
- Tracing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive.
- Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities/ home.
Local state and district authorities will be responsible for the implementation of the guidelines.