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MHA extends COVID-19 surveillance till January 31

Govt. order mentions detection of new virulent strain from UK

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on Monday extending the COVID-19 “guidelines for surveillance” till January 31.

The earlier guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 that were issued on November 25 were applicable till December 31.

“While there has been a continuous decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution, keeping in view the surge in cases globally, and emergence of a new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom (UK),” an order issued by MHA said. The order will apply to all States and Union Territories.

“Accordingly, containment zones continue to be demarcated carefully; prescribed containment measures 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 focused approach on surveillance, containment and strict observance of the guidelines/ SOPs issued by MHA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MOHFW), as envisaged in the Guidelines issued on 25.11.2020; need to be enforced strictly by States and UT,” the order said.

The November 25 guidelines specified “surveillance, containment and caution” in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the festival season and onset of winter.

Earlier the MHA had stressed that States should ensure 80% contacts of all persons found COVID-19 positive should be traced in 72 hours and their “tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up” for the next 14 days should be done strictly.

More than 1 crore COVID-19 cases and 1.4 lakh deaths have been reported in the country so far.

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