Even though the number of active cases of COVID-19 have been declining steadily over the last four months. To take precaution against further spread of the deadly disease which has been affecting the world MHA has decided to To take a stern action and has decided to further extend the guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution till February 28.
The guidelines issued will be effective from February 1.
COVID appropriate behavior
1. State/ UT Governments shall take all necssary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and ensure wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.
2. The National Directives for COVID-19 Management, as specified in Annexure I, shall be strictly followed throughout the country.
Surveillance and Containment
3. Containment Zones, if required, shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities, at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) in this regard. Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFWshall be scrupulously followed.
4. It shall be the responsibility of local district, police and municipal authorities to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed. State/UT Governments shall ensure accountability of the officers concerned in this regard.
Strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs
5. All activities will be permitted outside Containment Zones. However, the following activities will be subject to strict adherence of SOPs, as indicated below:
i. Social/ religious/ sports/ entertainment/ educational/ cultural/ religious gatherings, subject to SOP of the State/UT concerned.
ii. Cinema halls and theatres, subject to a revised SOP to be issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in consultation with MHA.
iii. Swimming pools, subject to a revised SOP to be issued by Ministr Youth Affairs & Sports (MOYA&S) in consultation with MHA.
iv. Exhibition halls, subject to a revised SOP to be issued by Department of Commerce in consultation with MHA.
6. For further opening up of international air travel of passengers, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) may take a decision in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
7. SOPs, as updated from time to time, have been prescribed for various activities. These include: 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, etc. These SOPs shall be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, who shall be responsible for their strict observance.
8. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State 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.
Protection of vulnerable persons
9. Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to take necessary precautions.
Strict enforcement of the guidelines
10. All the District Magistrates shall strictly enforce the above measures. For the enforcement of social distancing, State/UT Governments may, as far as possible, use the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973.
11. Any person violating these measures will be liable be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. Extracts of these penal provisions are at Annexure II.