COVID Containment SOPs Extended Till 31 Jan: What You Must Do

The MHA issued the fresh order, extending the earlier guidelines for surveillance in the first month of the new year

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A health worker conducts COVID-19 testing at Baratooti Bazar, as coronavirus cases surge across the national capital, in New Delhi, Friday, 13 November. Image used for representation.
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Despite the declining trend in new COVID-19 cases, the central government on Monday extended till 31 January next year the safety guidelines directing states and Union Territories (UTs) to maintain surveillance and follow containment measures set earlier.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the fresh order, extending the earlier guidelines for surveillance in the first month of the new year.

What does the government order say? Here’s all you need to know.

What does the order say about COVID-19 cases in India?

“While there has been a continuous decline in the active and new COVID-19 or coronavirus cases, there is a need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution, keeping in view the surge in cases globally, and emergence of a new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom (UK),” the ministry said in a statement.

Should we still wear masks?

  • Yes, most definitely. Wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing in public places is mandatory.
  • As per the ministry, there is clear direction to promote appropriate behaviour in times of COVID-19 and its strict enforcement
  • It also directed that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prescribed in respect of various permitted activities be followed "scrupulously", especially during New Year celebrations.

Are schools allowed to reopen?

  • Yes, but this is under the purview of the state government
  • Social/political/religious gatherings upto a ceiling of 200 persons in a closed space is also allowed

What are the SOPs to be followed in containment zones?

  • Intensive house-to-house surveillance
  • Testing 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 (80 percent of contacts to be traced in 72 hours)
  • Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities/ home
  • Clinical intervention as advised by medical professionals

(With inputs from IANS.)

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