The Centre has asked states to ensure observance of Covid appropriate behaviour including by imposing appropri...Read More
NEW DELHI: Keeping in view the fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in some parts of the country, the new home ministry guidelines valid through April mandate the states and UT to strictly enforce the ‘test-track-treat’ protocol and also allow states to impose local restrictions at district, sub-district, city and ward level.
All activities shall continue to be permitted outside containment zones with SOPs prescribed for various activities like 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.
The Centre has asked states to ensure observance of Covid appropriate behaviour including by imposing appropriate fines, and efforts to scale up the vaccination drive.
Elaborating on the ‘test-track-treat’ protocol, the home ministry said the states and UTs, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, should rapidly increase it to reach the prescribed level of 70% or more.
The new positive cases, detected as a result of intensive testing, need to be isolated/ quarantined at the earliest and provided timely treatment. Further as per the protocol, their contacts have to be traced at the earliest, and similarly isolated/ quarantined, state the guidelines.
While stating that the vaccination drive was proceeding smoothly, the home ministry said it was a matter of concern that the pace was uneven across different states and UTs. Terming vaccination against Covid-19 as critical to break the chain of transmission, the ministry asked all the state/UT governments to rapidly step up the pace of vaccination, to cover all priority groups in an expeditious manner.
The main focus of the guidelines, said MHA, is to consolidate the substantial gains achieved in containing the spread of Covid-19, which was visible in the sustained decline in the number of active cases, continuously for about five months.
State/ UT governments have been asked to take all necessary measures to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour in work places and in public, especially in crowded places. 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, said the home ministry.