The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued fresh guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution against COVID-19. MHA’s fresh guidelines will be effective between 1 and 31 December.
States/UTs are mandated to strictly enforce containment measures. SOPs have been issued on various activities.
Can the state/UT government impose lockdown?
No, the state and Union Territory governments will have to take permission from the Centre if they want to impose any local lockdowns outside containment zones.
What all restrictions have been issued in the containment zones?
The MHA said that only essential activities will be allowed in containment zones. There will be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in and out of these zones, except during medical emergencies and for carrying out supplies for essential goods and services.
Will the government carry door-to-door testing samples?
The government appointed teams will conduct intensive house-to-house surveillance, the testing will be done as per the protocol.
If someone is tested COVID-19 positive, quick isolation of such patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities or at home.
Listing of contacts will be done with respect to all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification and follow up of contacts for 14 days.
Can the state/UT implement night curfews?
The Centre has also allowed states to implement night curfews to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. However, the states cannot impose any local lockdown, outside the containment zones.
What is a COVID-19 appropriate behaviour?
The state or Union Territory has to ensure that the public follow appropriate COVID-19 rules, which include strict enforcement of wearing face masks and social distancing at crowded places, especially markets.
Can the government impose fine for not following COVID-19 rules?
The Centre has directed the state or UT to strictly enforce wearing of masks, including imposition of appropriate fines on persons not wearing them in public and work spaces.
What are the rules for the office spaces?
In cities, where weekly positivity rate is over 10 percent, states and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other measures, to ensure social distancing.
What activities are permitted outside containment zones?
All activities have been permitted outside the the containment zone, except for the following which have been permitted with restrictions:
1. International air travel, as permitted by the MHA
2. Cinema halls/theatres will remain open with upto 50 percent capacity
3. Swimming pools will be open for the training of sportspersons
4. Exhibition halls are allowed to open for business purposes
5. Social or religious gatherings are allowed with upto a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a cap of 200 people in closed spaces. However, the state or the UT may decrease the number from 200 based on the assessment of the situation.
Is there any restriction on inter-state or intra-state travel?
There shall be no restrictions on inter-state or intra-state movement of persons or goods. No separate permission or e-permit is required for the movement.
Is the use of Aarogya Setu app mandatory?
The use of Aarogya Setu app will continue to be encouraged.
Meanwhile, local, district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that prescribed measures are strictly followed and state and UT governments shall ensure accountability of concerned officers.
The main focus is to consolidate substantial gains achieved against COVID-19. Further, keeping in view of recent spike in cases in a few states and UTs, it is emphasised that there is need to maintain caution, says MHA.