Union home ministry on Monday extended the COVID-19 guidelines for surveillance, containment, and caution till 31 January 2021, on the backdrop of a surge in Covid-19 cases around the world and the virus variant which emerged in the United Kingdom.

“The earlier Guidelines for Surveillance to remain in force up to January 31,” the Ministry said in an order.

The ministry said 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 the emergence of a new variant of the virus in the UK.

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,” the MHA said.

“Therefore, 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 November 25 need to be enforced strictly by States and UTs,” the MHA added.

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