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Uttarakhand government issues fresh COVID guidelines ahead of Holi, Kumbh

According to the new SOP, the district administrators can reinstate containment zones and have also been asked to impose penalties on people not complying with Covid norms, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Uttarakhand government issues fresh COVID guidelines ahead of Holi, Kumbh-dnm
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Dehradun, First Published Mar 25, 2021, 3:39 PM IST
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Dehradun: Amid a spike in coronavirus infections, the Uttarakhand government has released a new set of Covid guidelines in view of Holi, Mahakumbh and other festivals. The new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) will remain in effect till April 30.

According to the new SOP, the district administrators can reinstate containment zones and have also been asked to impose penalties on people not complying with Covid norms, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

The Uttrakhand Government was advised to increase the number of RT-PCR tests as per the ICMR guidelines and to ensure that the pilgrims and local population are tested properly.

The Kumbh Mela is slated to be held from April 1 to 30 in Haridwar. The Uttarakhand government has decided to limit the Kumbh this year to 30 days due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At present, the state has 1,112 active cases. So far, 96062 Covid-19 cases have been reported in Uttarakhand while 1706 people have lost their lives to the deadly disease.

On Sunday, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had written a letter to Chief Secretary Uttarakhand in which he advised the state government to increase the number of RT-PCR tests, to follow the standard operating procedures issued by the health ministry and to display signages to disseminate the main points of the SOPs.

"The state has been informed that the daily testing numbers reported in Haridwar (i.e.50,000 Rapid Antigen Tests and 5,000 RTPCR tests) are not enough to effectively offset the huge number of expected pilgrim footfall. It has been advised that the share of RTPCR tests being conducted at present needs to be significantly increased as per the ICMR guidelines to ensure that the pilgrims and local population are appropriately tested," the letter read.

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