Despite the declining trend in new COVID-19 cases, Centre on Monday issued an order to extend the 'Guidelines for Surveillance' until January 31 next year. The surveillance guidelines mandate states and union territories (UTs) to follow containment measures, as well as to maintain surveillance.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the new order, justifying the need for surveillance despite a decline in the rate of positive COVID-19 cases owing to the new mutation of the virus found in the UK.
"While there has been a continuous decline in the active and new COVID-19 or coronavirus cases, there is 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)," said an MHA statement.
The UK mutation of the coronavirus is said to be 70 per cent more transmissible, the news of which resulted in most countries cutting travel ties with the country.
In addition, the ministry directed states to continue demarcating containment zones in a circumspect manner, while also ensuring optimum safety measures within them. "COVID-appropriate" behaviour is expected while Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that pertain to permitted activities are to be followed "scrupulously."
In a nutshell, the ministry directed strict implementation of the focused approach on surveillance, containment and adherence to the SOPs issued in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW).
As of now, India has a total of 1,02,07,871 cases, with the total death toll standing at 1,47,901. On Monday, the country recorded 20,021 new cases, while recording 279 additional fatalities.