The festive season is here and today (September 28) the Home Ministry has issued the covid-19 related guidelines so that Covid Appropriate Behaviour is followed during the festivals. The MHA has said to follow the five-fold strategy i.e. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour. 

The official notice read, “There should be a continued focus on the five-fold strategy i.e. Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and adherence to COVID Appropriate Behaviour, to safely navigate through the festive season and to avoid the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases.”

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The ministry has further said that it is critical to enforce adherence to guidelines that allow regular festivities in a cautious, safe and COVID-appropriate behaviour. 

It further read that vaccination programs should be stopped and the pace should not be decreased to avoid the Covid-19 spread. The notice read, “The State and UT governments should continue with their vaccinated programme with a focus to accelerate vaccination of eligible age group and prioritization of the second dose to eligible beneficiaries.” 

Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs of India, Ajay Kumar Bhalla further said that State and UTs should closely monitor the positivity rate, bed occupancy in hospitals etc. 

“States/UTs, on a regular basis, should closely monitor case positivity, hospital/ICU bed occupancy of every district falling under their jurisdiction. The State Governments and UT Administrations concerned, having high positivity in their districts, should take pro-active containment measures so as to effectively arrest the spike in cases and to contain the spread of transmission,” said the notice, adding, “It is important to identify warning signs of potential surges early on and to take appropriate measures to curb the spread.”

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He added that a localized approach is required as mentioned in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), released on 21-09-2021. 

In the notice released by the union health secretary, Rajesh Bhushan (released on 21 September), “We have issued detailed SOP for States/ UTs on Tuesday. Mass gatherings should be avoided in areas identified as Containment Zones and in districts reporting more than 5% case positivity. Gatherings with advanced permissions and limited people (as per local context) should be allowed in districts with a positivity rate of 5% and below. Relaxations and restrictions should be imposed based on weekly case positivity.”

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