States can impose local restrictions under MHA’s new guidelines

NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued new guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution in the wake of surge in coronavirus cases in few states and Union Territories (UTs), allowing them to impose local restrictions to contain the spread of the pandemic based on need.

The month-long guidelines will be effective from December 1 and will remain in force up to December 31.

The main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of the deadly disease which is visible in the steady decline in number of active cases in the country, a Ministry statement said.

“Keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in few states and UTs, ongoing festival season and onset of winter, it is emphasised that to fully overcome the pandemic, there is need to maintain caution and to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy, focused on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines or SOPs issued by MHA and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW),” it said.

Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed.

“States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19,” the Ministry said.

The move comes after India on Wednesday added 44,376 Covid cases, pushing its total tally to 92,22,216. It is the 18th straight day when India reported less than 50,000 cases in a day. But there are many states including Delhi, Mumbai, and West Bengal where the number of Covid cases has been increasing drastically, claiming many lives regularly.

Maharashtra remains the worst hit state with 84,238 active cases and 46,683 deaths so far. The recoveries in the state stand at 16,58,879.

Apart from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have reported the highest number of cases.

The national capital is also witnessing a surge. On Tuesday, Delhi recorded 6,224 new cases and 109 deaths.

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