Ministry of Health issues comprehensive advisory on social distancing
Online education to be promoted
A high level meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was held at Nirman Bhawan today under the chairpersonship of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.
After a detailed discussion, social distancing measures as a preventive strategy have been proposed for implementation. These measures are a preventive step to contain COVID-19 in the country and will be temporary measure in force till March 31st, 2020. The important measures include:
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. Non-essential travel should be avoided. Buses, Trains and aeroplanes to maximize social distancing in public transport besides ensuring regular and proper disinfection of surfaces.
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 hand washing 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. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Keep communities informed consistently and constantly.