Gurugram, India- March 16, 2020: Doctors seen wearing protective masks as a precautionary measure amid rising coronavirus scare at Civil Hospital, Sector 10, in Gurugram, India, on Monday, 16 March 2020. (Photo by Yogendra Kumar/Hindustan Times)(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Gurugram, India- March 16, 2020: Doctors seen wearing protective masks as a precautionary measure amid rising coronavirus scare at Civil Hospital, Sector 10, in Gurugram, India, on Monday, 16 March 2020. (Photo by Yogendra Kumar/Hindustan Times)(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

In 15-point coronavirus advisory, Centre wants schools, theatres to be shut

In a 15-point advisory to state governments, the Union Health Ministry also asked people to avoid non-essential travel within the country as part of what has been described as social distancing.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 16, 2020 10:26 PM IST

The Centre on Monday told states to shut schools, gyms, theatres and encourage private firms to let its employees work from home where feasible in an effort to reduce the possibility of spreading coronavirus infection within the community. In a 15-point advisory to state governments, the Union Health Ministry also asked people to avoid non-essential travel within the country as part of what has been described as social distancing.

The government has spared shopping malls, restaurants and places of worship but asked local authorities to reach out to traders and religious leaders to make sure that people in and around their premises keep a distance of one metre to prevent spread of the infection.

In schools and universities, the government has also advised states to explore the possibility of postponing exams. In case this isn’t feasible, the government told states to ensure that a distance of one metre is maintained between students in the examination hall.

The government issued following measures for social distancing:

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.

Measures to reduce peak hour crowding in markets.

11. 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.

12. Hospitals to follow necessary protocol related with COVID-19 management as

prescribed and restrict family/friends/children visiting patients in hospitals.

13. Hygiene and physical distancing has to be maintained. Shaking hands and hugging as

a matter of greeting to be avoided.

14. Special protective measures for delivery men/ women working in online ordering

services.

15. Keep communities informed consistently and constantly.

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