The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday released a fresh set of guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution against COVID-19. The fresh norms will be effective from December 1 and will remain in place till December 31.
Meanwhile, the country is grappling with a second coronavirus wave. Many states have already imposed fresh curbs to contain the spread of the virus. However, the state governments cannot impose any local lockdown without prior consultation with the Central Government, MHA said in the new guidelines. Besides, MHA added that the states and union territories may impose local restrictions such as night curfew.
"States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew. However, State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (state/ district/ sub-division/city level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government," MHA said.
"States and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices. In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is more than 10%, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, with a view to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time, thereby ensuring social distancing," MHA added.
Meanwhile, the states and union territories have been mandated to strictly enforce COVID-19 containment measures, SOPs on various activities and COVID-appropriate behaviour and exercise caution and regulate crowds.
The MHA has permitted only essential activities in Containment Zones. "Local district, police & municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that containment measures are strictly followed & State/UT govts shall ensure accountability of concerned officers," MHA added.
Coronavirus cases in India:
India's COVID-19 caseload went past 92 lakh mark with 44,376 new cases reported on Tuesday, while the number of recoveries surged to 86.42 lakh, the health ministry said.
The number of total coronavirus cases rose to 92,22,216 in the country, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 1,34,699 with 481 new fatalities, the ministry's data updated at 8 am on Wednesday showed.
The active caseload shot up to 4,44,746, an increase of 6,079 cases from Tuesday, even though it remained below five lakh for the 15th consecutive day, accounting for 4.82 per cent of the total cases, the data stated.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 86,42,771, pushing the national recovery rate to 93.72 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.46 per cent.
(With PTI inputs)