Festive season ahead, Centre issues guidelines to check Covid spread

New-Delhi:  The central government have asked states and union territories to ensure that upcoming festivals are celebrated in a safe and cautious manner with utmost precautions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. They can continue with night curfew, weekend curfew and other restrictions.

In a letter to states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said standard operating procedures issued last month for curbing any spike in cases must be followed. He said necessary directions should be issued adequately in advance by state governments concerned for practising caution during the festivities.

States/UTs are further requested to ensure that non-adherence to COVID Appropriate behavior in public places is dealt with strongly. Inter-sectoral collaboration between health departments, law enforcement agencies, market and trade associations, civil society organizations, and community will be essential to curb any risk of a spike in COVID-19 trajectory.”

COVID-19 guidelines for festival season

    • States and UTs have been asked to maintain strict enforcement of laid down guidelines for allowing festivities in a cautious, safe, and COVID-19 appropriate manner.
    • The guidelines state that no mass gathering should be allowed in areas identified as containment zones and in districts reporting more than 5 percent COVID-19 test confirmation rates.
    • States and UTs have been asked to promote online modes of shopping and purchasing and discourage unnecessary travel.
    • The COVID-19 guidelines state that gatherings that are allowed with advance permission and a limited number of people (as per local context) should be closely monitored and in case of violations of COVID appropriate behavior necessary enforcement and penal actions should be taken.
    • Public gatherings should be limited by the concerned authorities, taking into account the availability of space to ensure effective social distancing.
    • The guidelines put in place regarding malls, local markets, and places of worship, as made available on the MoHFW website dated 30th November 2020 and 1st March 2021 need to be followed strictly.
    • The five pillars of COVID management- Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and COVID appropriate behavior- need to be kept in mind by all the states and UTs during this festive season.
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