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In fresh Covid-19 guidelines, home ministry empowers states to impose local restrictions like night curfew

NEW DELHI: The Union home ministry on Wednesday released guidelines for surveillance, containment and caution during the time of the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The home ministry said that the main focus of the guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of Covid-19 which is visible in the steady decline in number of active cases in the country.

One of the points in the new guidelines, which will come into force from December 1, is empowering the states to impose local restrictions, including night curfew.

"States and union territories (UTs), based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19 such as night curfew," the home ministry said in a release.

However, the state and UT governments can't impose local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government, the release further added.

"Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed containment measures are strictly followed," the home ministry said.

The government had first imposed a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus disease in March. From 21 days, the duration of the lockdown kept increasing when the infection was at its peak.

The first set of relaxations (called Unlock 1.0) was announced in June, which led to the opening of restaurants, shopping malls etc. Since then, the government has been opening the economy in phases.

But with the recent surge in the number of new Covid-19 cases in various cities, there are fears of the resurgence of the disease. Experts have also warned that the situation could worsen in winters. So, the government has cautioned people against letting their guards down and have urged people to keep following Covid-19 protocols.


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