States & UTs need to ensure Covid protocol in containment zones: MHA

New Delhi, Nov 25 (Buerau) In a fresh Covid 19 guidelines issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure careful demarcation of “Containment Zones” by the district authorities, at the micro level. “Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) shall be scrupulously followed and only essential activities to be allowed, strict perimeter control, intensive house-to-house surveillance and testing and listing of contacts of all persons found positive”, the fresh guidelines said.

The MHA also asked to ensure the implementation of COVID-appropriate behavior such as wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing and to take adequate administrative actions, including imposition of appropriate fines, on persons not wearing face masks in public and work spaces. For social distancing in crowded places MoHFW will issue a SOP, which shall be strictly enforced by States and UTs, the new norms added. The international air travel will continue as permitted by MHA whereas the cinema halls and theatres with up to 50 percent capacity will be functioning. The swimming pools will be used only for training of sports persons and exhibition halls only for business to business (B2B) purposes. The MHA new norms for social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural, religious gatherings, with up to a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces but based on their assessment, the State and UT Governments may reduce the ceiling to 100 persons or less, in closed spaces. The night curfew allowed to be imposed only in case of Containment Zones while the staggered office timing will be effectively implemented in cities where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is in more than 10 percent. Protection of the vulnerable persons like persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.