Amid concerns of new and highly infectious Covid-19 strain from the UK, the centre on Monday extended the existing Covid-19 guidelines till 31 January 2021 and instructed authorities to maintain strict surveillance and caution for this period.
In the extended guidelines, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that containment Zones will continue to be demarcated carefully and prescribed containment measures should be strictly followed within these zones.
“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,” the MHA said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Meanwhile, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today inaugurated India’s first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The vaccine “Pneumosil” has been developed by the Serum Institute of India Private Limited (SIIPL) in collaboration with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Furthermore, the ministry said, “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 UTs.”