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Coronavirus | Ramp up vaccination, Centre tells States

A RT-PCR test for coronavirus in progress, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday issued an order to extend the COVID-19 “guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution” till March 31. It asked the States to expedite the vaccination programme to break the chain of transmission.

“While there has been a substantial decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic. States/ Union Territories have also been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic,” the MHA said in a statement.

Containment zones

It asked the States to demarcate the containment zones carefully and ensure that prescribed containment measures are strictly followed within these zones.

“COVID-appropriate behaviour promoted and strictly enforced; and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prescribed in respect of various permitted activities followed scrupulously. Therefore, the focussed approach on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines/ SOPs, as envisaged in the Guidelines issued on 27.01.2021; need to be enforced strictly by States and Union Territories,” the order said.

The earlier guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, which were issued on January 27, are applicable till February 28.

The January guidelines permitted the opening of cinema halls and theatres at a higher capacity than the 50% seating strength. Swimming pools were also permitted to open for all.

All kinds of social, religious and cultural gatherings that were earlier restricted to a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces were allowed.

It said the Ministry of Civil Aviation may take a decision in consultation with the MHA for further opening up of international air travel.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 6:45:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-india-extends-covid-19-guidelines-till-march-31/article33942661.ece

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