Shop online, avoid travel: Govt issues Covid advisory for festivals

The government said the Covid guidelines for malls and local markets should be strictly followed.

New Delhi:

States should ensure that coronavirus precautions are strictly followed during the festive season, the government said in an advisory on Saturday, promoting online shopping and taking measures like avoiding unnecessary travel to contain the spike in infection rates. Listing as they have in some countries.

The government has suggested such measures:

  • Promoting online modes of celebrations, online shopping and discouraging unnecessary travel.
  • Strictly follow the COVID guidelines during festival celebrations.
  • No mass gathering in containment zones and districts where more than 5 per cent tests are returning positive.
  • The State Government should issue adequate advance directions.
  • The gatherings which are allowed with advance permission and limited attendance should be closely monitored.
  • Guidelines should be strictly followed for malls, local markets and places of worship.
  • Follow the five pillars of covid management – test, track, treat, vaccinate and follow covid-appropriate behaviour.
  • District authorities should keep a close watch on the trajectory of cases.

The guidelines come ahead of major festivals like Diwali and Eid next month. It follows a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in countries such as Russia, Britain and China where schools are being closed and fresh lockdowns are being announced.

In a letter to states and union territories, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that the standard operating procedures issued last month should be followed to prevent any spike in cases.

“States/UTs are requested to ensure that non-adherence to proper handling of COVID in public places is strictly dealt with by health departments, law enforcement agencies, market and trade associations, civil society organizations and community Inter-sectoral cooperation will be undertaken between the two countries as necessary to avert any risk of a spike in the COVID-19 trajectory,” Mr Bhushan said in the letter.

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