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MHA issues fresh COVID-19 guidelines; tells states to step up vaccination, follow 'Test-Track-Treat' protocol

MHA issues fresh COVID-19 guidelines; tells states to step up vaccination, follow 'Test-Track-Treat' protocol

The new guidelines will be effective from April 1 and remain in force up to April 30, said the Ministry of Home Affairs. It said that the main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains made in controlling the decline of COVID-19 cases

MHA issues new guidelines for COVID-19 MHA issues new guidelines for COVID-19

The government has issued fresh guidelines for effective control of coronavirus as cases continue to increase. All states and union territories have been asked to strictly follow 'Test-Track-Treat' protocol, ensure COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, follow local restrictions and step up the pace of COVID-19 vaccination.

The new guidelines will be effective from April 1 and remain in force up to April 30, said the Ministry of Home Affairs. It said that the main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains made in controlling the decline of COVID-19 cases. "Keeping in view a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, which is being witnessed in some parts of the country, the guidelines mandate the State/ UT Governments to strictly enforce the Test-Track-Treat protocol in all parts of the country; ensure observance of COVID appropriate behaviour by everyone; and, to scale up the vaccination drive, to cover all the target groups," stated the ministry.

It also asked all states and UTs to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy. Here are the new guidelines issued by the MHA:

Test-Track-Treat protocol

States and UTs have been asked to rapidly increase RT-PCR tests. New positive cases need to be isolated/quarantined at the earliest and provided timely treatment. Their contacts have to be traced at the earliest, and similarly isolated/quarantined.

Containment Zones shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities at the micro level. Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFW, shall be scrupulously followed. Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed.

State/ UT governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in work places and in public. For strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines.

Also read: One year of lockdown: 5 reasons why COVID-19 panic has decreased in India

Local restrictions

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, at district/ sub-district and city/ ward level, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

No restriction on interstate and intrastate movement

There shall be no restriction on interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

Strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs

All activities including movement by passenger trains, air travel, metro trains, schools, higher educational institutions, hotels and restaurants, shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks, yoga centres and gymnasiums; exhibitions, assemblies and congregations, etc have been permitted outside Containment Zones. SOPs have been prescribed for these. The SOPs will be updated from time to time and shall be strictly enforced.

COVID-19 vaccination

The government has asked all states and UTs to rapidly step up the pace of vaccination to cover all priority groups in an expeditious manner. "The slow pace of vaccination in some States/ UTs is a matter of concern. Vaccination against COVID-19, in the present scenario, is critical to break the chain of transmission," stated the ministry.

Also read: One year of lockdown live updates: Second wave grips India

Also read: This Indian pharma firm is developing oral COVID-19 vaccine in capsule form

Published on: Mar 23, 2021, 6:19 PM IST
Posted by: anwesha madhukalya, Mar 23, 2021, 6:19 PM IST