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Home Ministry issues fresh COVID-19 guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution

The Home Ministry has issued an Order today with Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution, which will be effective from 1st December and remain in force upto 31st December.

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. Further, keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in few states and UTs, it has been emphasised that there is a need to maintain caution and strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.

Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to the guidelines, States and UTs must ensure careful demarcation of Containment Zones by the district authorities, at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by Health Ministry in this regard.  The list of Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the States and UTs. This list will also be shared with the Health Ministry.

Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by the Health Ministry shall be scrupulously followed. Only essential activities shall be allowed in the Containment Zones. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. There shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams formed for the purpose. Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol. Listing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up of contacts for 14 days.

Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities and home subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines. Clinical interventions, as prescribed, shall be administered.

Surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases shall be carried out in health facilities or outreach mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones. Awareness shall be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed and State and UT Governments shall ensure the accountability of the officers concerned in this regard.
States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew. However, state and UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.

States and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices. In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is more than 10 percent, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures.

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 or e-permit will be required for such movements.

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