States must ensure Coronavirus precautions are followed strictly during the festive season, the government said in an advisory on Saturday, listing measures like promoting online shopping and avoiding unnecessary travel to stop infection rates from spiralling as they have in some countries.
The government has suggested measures like:
- Promote online modes of celebrations, online shopping, and discourage unnecessary travel.
- Strictly follow Covid guidelines during festival celebrations.
- No mass gatherings in containment zones and districts where more than 5 per cent of tests are returning positive.
- State government should issue directions adequately in advance.
- Gatherings that are allowed with advance permission and limited attendees should be monitored closely.
- Guidelines for malls, local markets and places of worship should be strictly followed.
- Follow five pillars of Covid management - Test, track, treat, vaccinate and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.
- District authorities should keep a strict watch over trajectory of cases.
The guidelines come ahead of major festivals like Diwali and Eid next month. It also follows a worrying spike in Coronavirus cases in many countries such Russia, UK and China where schools are being closed and renewed lockdowns are being announced.
In a letter to states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said standard operating procedures issued last month for curbing any spike in cases must be followed.
"States/UTs are further requested to ensure that non-adherence to COVID Appropriate behaviour in public places is dealt with strongly. Inter-sectoral collaboration between health departments, law enforcement agencies, market and trade associations, civil society organizations, and community will be essential to curb any risk of a spike in COVID-19 trajectory," Mr Bhushan said in the letter.