New Covid Guidelines : MHA Issues New Covid-19 Guidelines; Allows States To Impose Local Night Curfew, More Restricted Containment Zones

With the number of new cases exceeding the recovered Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases for five days in a row, the Union Home Ministry (MHA) on Wednesday, issued guidelines for surveillance and containment, which will remain in force till 31 December.

New Covid Guidelines : MHA Issues New Covid-19 Guidelines; Allows States To Impose Local Night Curfew, More Restricted Containment Zones
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With the number of new cases exceeding the recovered Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases for five days in a row, the Union Home Ministry (MHA) on Wednesday, issued guidelines for surveillance and containment, which will remain in force till 31 December. The MHA also allowed the imposition of local restrictions - such as night curfew, but disallowed lockdown imposition without Centre's approval. India currently has 91,77,841 cases, of which  4,38,667 are active and 1,34,218 have succumbed to the infection.

MHA's new 'surveillance & containment' guidelines

MHA has listed out the steps to be carried out by state & Union territory governments for surveillance and containment of the virus. These include - house-to-house surveillance, 80% of positive contacts to be traced within 72 hours, clinical interventions, quick isolation and awareness for  COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. The MHA has allowed State governments to limit gatherings to 100 persons or less, in closed spaces, as per their assessment.

Apart from this, MHA has issued guidelines on local restrictions:

  • 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/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City level), 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 in more than 10 percent, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, with a view to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time, thereby ensuring social distancing.
  • 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. 

PM Modi's discussion with chief ministers

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi categorically stated that arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine was solely in the hands of the scientists and hit out at those netas who were politicising the issue. Addressing the Chief Ministers of various states and UTs via videoconferencing, PM Modi's meeting with the CMs focused on reviewing the COVID-19 situation and the distribution of the vaccine once it enters the market. The PM held  a meeting with Chief Ministers of eight states which are worst hit by the COVID-19 virus, through video conferencing. Home Minister Amit Shah, Dr VK Paul of NITI Aayog, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan along with other top officials also participated in the meeting.