COVID-19: Uttarakhand govt releases new SOP ahead of Holi, Kumbh


Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases, the Uttarakhand government has released a new set of guidelines to be followed, which requires people to strictly adhere to COVID norms because of Holi, Mahakumbh, and other festivals.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be followed till April 30 was released by Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash on Wednesday.

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

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.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Sunday had written a letter to Chief Secretary Uttarakhand, in which he advised the state government to increase the number of RTPCR 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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