The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued fresh guidelines on social distancing. Preeti Sudan, the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in a communication to all State and Union Territory governments has listed out several social distancing measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Sudan also noted that several states and UTs have issued separate guidelines for social distancing and they are not uniform. "Expert Group constituted under this Ministry has emphasized on a need for uniform implementation of guidelines on social distancing," said Sudan in the communication.
The guidelines suggest that government offices should regulate hours which will help in reducing congestion and maintaining hygiene. It says that all offices should adopt regulating working hours except offices of essential services. "Industrial to adopt staggered timings and regulation of crowd in market should also be resorted to," said the guidelines.
The guidelines have asked all private sector offices to consider work from home wherever possible. According to the communication all educational institutions, theatres, museums, gyms, examination centers are to be shut. The ministry advised that all sporting events, competitions, and religious gatherings should be postponed and people should practice social distancing even in smaller gatherings.
"Plan decrease in frequency of seruices of metros, railways, buses and airplanes; alternate seating to ensure social distancing; disinfection and crowd control in places like railway stations, metro stations, bus stands, airports, etc," said Sudan.
The ministry emphasised that all senior citizens should avoid all social gatherings and should remain indoors, except for medical reasons. Parents of children below the age of 10 have been asked to keep their children at home and avoid any activities that require a large number of people to gather.
Regarding the availability of sanitizers and masks, the guidelines said, "Regulate prices of masks, sanitizers, medicines, etc. and ensure their availability".
Sudan has asked states and UTs to motivate citizens, especially the youth, to become volunteers and help the government in its efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
According to ICMR, 206 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in India. Globally, the number has climbed up to 2,45,032 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including around 10,000 deaths.