New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In wake of the recent spurt in the coronavirus cases in the country, the Centre on Friday extended the existing coronavirus containment guidelines till March 31, 2021. In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said while there has been a substantial decline in the active and new COVID-19 cases, there is a need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an Order today to extend the existing Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution to remain in force up to 31.03.2021," a release by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

The states and union territories have also been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic. As per the order issued by the MHA, containment zones continue to be demarcated carefully and prescribed containment measures should be 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 should be followed scrupulously, the order said. 

What are the COVID-19 containment guidelines?

Cinema halls and theatres are allowed to operate with more people while swimming pools have also been permitted for use by all.

There is no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. 

No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.

All activities have been permitted outside containment zones, except a few which will be subject to strict adherence to SOPs. 

Social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural, religious gatherings have already been permitted up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 people in closed spaces and keeping of the size of the ground or space in view in open spaces.

Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted up to 50 per cent of seating capacity. Now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in consultation with MHA.

The guidelines said swimming pools have already been permitted for use of sportspersons. Now swimming pools will be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in consultation with MHA.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan