Coronavirus In India: Ministry Of Health Issues Advisory On Social Distancing Measure

The Union Ministry of Health today has issued advisory on social distancing measure in view of spread of COVID-19.

Social distancing is a non-pharmaceutical infection prevention and control intervention implemented to avoid/decrease contact between those who are infected with a disease causing pathogen and those who are not, so as to stop or slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission in a community. This eventually leads to decrease in spread, morbidity and mortality due to the disease.
In addition to the proposed interventions, the State/UT Governments may prescribe such other measures as they consider necessary.
All these proposed interventions shall be in force till 31st of March, 2020. They will be reviewed as per the evolving situation.

The following interventions are proposed:

  1. Closure of all educational establishments (schools, universities etc), gyms, museums, cultural and social centres, swimming pools and theatres. Students should be advised to stay at home. Online education to be promoted.
  2. Possibility of postponing exams may be explored. Ongoing exams to be conducted only after ensuring physical distance of one meter amongst students.
  3. Encourage private sector organizations/employers to allow employees to work from home wherever feasible.
  4. Meetings, as far as feasible, shall be done through video conferences. Minimize or reschedule meetings involving large number of people unless necessary.
  5. Restaurants to ensure handwashing protocol and proper cleanliness of frequently touched surfaces. Ensure physical distancing (minimum 1metre) between tables; encourage open air seating where practical with adequate distancing.
  6. Keep already planned weddings to a limited gathering, postpone all non-essential social and cultural gatherings.
  7. Local authorities to have a dialogue with organizers of sporting events and competitions involving large gatherings and they may be advised to postpone such events.
  8. Local authorities to have a dialogue with opinion leaders and religious leaders to regulate mass gatherings and should ensure no overcrowding/at least one metre distance between people.
  9. Local authorities to have meeting with traders associations and other stakeholders to
    regulate hours, exhibit Do’s and Don’ts and take up a communication drive in market
    places like sabzi mandi, anaj mandi, bus depots, railway stations, post-offices etc.,
    where essential services are provided.
  10. All commercial activities must keep a distance of one meter between customers.
  11. Measures to reduce peak hour crowding in markets
  12. Non-essential travel should be avoided. Buses, Trains and aeroplanes to maximize
    social distancing in public transport besides ensuring regular and proper disinfection of
  13. Hospitals to follow necessary protocol related with COVID-19 management as
    prescribed and restrict family/friends/children visiting patients in hospitals.
  14. Hygiene and physical distancing has to be maintained. Shaking hands and hugging as
    a matter of greeting to be avoided.
  15. Special protective measures for delivery men/ women working in online ordering
  16. Keep communities informed consistently and constantly.

Additional Travel Advisory for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

In continuation of the travel advisory issued on 11th March 2020, the following additional advisory
is issued:

  • Expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers
    coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. This will come into
    effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020 at the port of first departure.
  • Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European
    Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect
    from 18th March 2020. No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India
    with effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the
    port of initial departure.
  • Both these instructions are temporary measures and shall be in force till 31st March
    2020 and will be reviewed subsequent.
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