New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday issued guidelines for COVID-19 surveillance which will remain in force till January 31. It said that there was need to maintain caution due to emergence of new variant of the virus in the United Kingdom. 

"While there has been a continuous decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is a 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 UK.

"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," the MHA said.

Within the demarcated containment zones, containment measures as prescribed by the health ministry shall be scrupulously followed. Only essential activities shall be allowed, there shall be a strict perimeter control to ensure no movement of people into or out of these zones except for medical emergencies and maintaining the supply of essential goods and services, and there shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by the surveillance teams formed for the purpose.

Besides, testing shall be carried out as per the prescribed protocol, the listing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of everyone found COVID positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow-up of contacts for 14 days.

Surveillance for Influenza-like infections (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) cases shall be carried out in health facilities or outreach mobile units or through fever clinics in buffer zones.

The guidelines said the state and UT governments shall take all necessary measures to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and to ensure strict enforcement of wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

In order to enforce the core requirement of wearing of face masks, states and UTs may consider administrative actions, including the imposition of appropriate fines, on violators in public and workspaces.

The COVID-19 recoveries in the country have risen to nearly 98 lakh, exceeding active cases by more than 95 lakh, as per the data last updated by the Health Ministry. 

There has been a steady drop in the active caseload as the number of people recuperating daily have been outnumbering new infections recorded in a day for over a month now, according to the ministry. 

When compared globally, India's cases per million population is among the lowest in the world at 7,397. The global average is 10,149. Countries such as Russia, the UK, Italy, Brazil, France and the USA have much higher cases per million population, the ministry highlighted.

It stated that 72.99 per cent of the new recovered cases were observed to be concentrated in 10 state and Union Territories. Also, 79.61 per cent of the new cases are from 10 states and UTs. Kerala has reported the maximum 3,463 single-day recoveries in a day followed by 2,124 in Maharashtra and 1,740 in West Bengal.

In terms of daily new cases, Kerala tops the list with 4,905 more instances of the infection, followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal with 3,314 and 1,435 new cases respectively.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta