Test, track, treat: MHA issues fresh Covid control guidelines to states as coronavirus cases rise again

The Home Ministry on Tuesday issued a fresh set of guidelines directing all states and Union Territories (UT) to ‘test-track-treat’ in a bid to counter the renewed spike of Covid-19 cases.

A medic takes swab pattern for Covid-19 check amid a spike in cases. (Photo: PTI)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued a fresh set of guidelines directing all states and Union Territories (UT) to ‘test-track-treat’ in a bid to counter the renewed spike of Covid-19 cases.

MHA has requested all states and UTs to improve the proportion of RT-PCR tests, strictly implement the ‘test-track-treat’ protocol and pace up the tempo of vaccination to cowl all precedence teams.

The fresh guidelines issued by the MHA will likely be efficient from April 1 until April 30.

The foremost focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial positive factors achieved in containing the unfold of Covid-19, which was seen within the sustained decline within the variety of energetic cases, repeatedly for about 5 months, the ministry mentioned.

It can also be emphasised that so as to be certain that the resumption of actions is profitable and to totally overcome the pandemic, there may be need to strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy, and strictly observe the guidelines/SOPs issued by MHA and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and different ministries and departments of the central authorities and state and governments.

Here’s what the fresh guidelines say

Test-track-treat protocol

  • States and UTs, the place the proportion of RT-PCR exams is much less, ought to quickly improve it, to attain the prescribed degree of 70 per cent or extra.
  • The new constructive cases, detected as a results of intensive testing, want to be remoted/ quarantined on the earliest and supplied well timed remedy.
  • Further, as per the protocol, their contacts have to be traced on the earliest and equally remoted/ quarantined.
  • Based on the constructive cases and monitoring of their contacts, Containment Zones shall be fastidiously demarcated by the district authorities, on the micro-level, making an allowance for the guidelines prescribed by the MoHFWin on this regard.
  • The listing of Containment Zones will likely be notified on the web sites by the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs. This listing may even be shared with MoHFW regularly.
  • Within the demarcated Containment Zones, containment measures, as prescribed by MoHFW, shall be scrupulously adopted, which embrace strict perimeter control, intensive house-to-house surveillance, contact tracing, surveillance for ILI/ SARI cases and so forth.
  • Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be accountable to be certain that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly adopted and State/ UT Governments shall make sure the accountability of the officers involved on this regard.

Covid acceptable behaviour

  • State/UT Governments shall take all needed measures to promote Covid-19 acceptable behaviour in workplaces and in public, particularly in crowded locations.
  • For strict enforcement of sporting of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing, States and UTs might contemplate administrative actions, together with imposition of acceptable fines.
  • National Directives for Covid-19 Management shall proceed to be adopted all through the nation, so as to implement Covid-19 acceptable behaviour.

Local restrictions

  • States and UTs, primarily based on their evaluation of the state of affairs, might impose native restrictions, at district/ sub-district and metropolis/ ward degree, with a view to comprise the unfold of Covid-19.
  • No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State motion
  • There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State motion of individuals and items together with these for cross land-border commerce beneath Treaties with neighbouring nations. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will likely be required for such actions.

Strict adherence to the prescribed SOPs

  • All actions have been permitted outdoors Containment Zones and SOPs have been prescribed for numerous actions. These embrace: motion by passenger trains; air journey; metro trains; faculties; larger academic establishments; inns and eating places; purchasing malls, multiplexes and leisure parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums; exhibitions, assemblies and congregations, and so forth.
  • The SOPs, as up to date from time to time, shall be strictly enforced by the authorities involved, who shall be liable for their strict observance.

Vaccination

  • While the vaccination drive is continuing easily, the tempo is uneven throughout totally different States and UTs; and, the gradual tempo of vaccination in some States/ UTs is a matter of concern. Vaccination towards Covid-19, within the current situation, is important to break the chain of transmission.
  • Therefore, all State/ UT Governments ought to quickly step up the tempo of vaccination, to cowl all precedence teams in an expeditious method.

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