New Delhi: To keep a strict check on the coronavirus cases, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines and allowed essential activities in Containment Zones. In the fresh order for surveillance, containment and caution, the Home Ministry said that states and UTs are mandated to strictly enforce containment measures, SOPs on various activities. Also Read - Day After Farmers Rally Violence, Red Fort to Remain Shut For Visitors Till Jan 31

The Centre said that the local district, police and municipal authorities will be responsible to ensure that prescribed containment measures are strictly followed everywhere. Also Read - Tractor Rally Violence: 2 Farmer Unions Withdraw Support From Protest, Delhi Police Says Culprits Will Not be Spared | Key Points

“Only essential activities allowed in Containment Zones. Local district, police & municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed & State/UT Govts shall ensure accountability of concerned officers,” the order from MHA stated. Also Read - PM Boris Johnson Delays Schools Reopening Amid High COVID-19 Death Rate in UK

The order from the MHA comes on a day when India’s COVID-19 caseload went past 92 lakh with 44,376 new cases reported in a day, while the number of recoveries surged to 86.42 lakh.

The number of total coronavirus cases rose to 92,22,216 in the country, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 1,34,699 with 481 new fatalities. The active caseload shot up to 4,44,746, an increase of 6,079 cases from Tuesday, even though it remained below five lakh for the 15th consecutive day, accounting for 4.82 per cent of the total cases.

The MHA said the states and 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. “However, State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government,”the MHA said.

The Home Ministry further added that the states and UTs also need to enforce social distancing in offices.  “In cities, where the weekly Case Positivity Rate is in more than 10 percent, States and UTs concerned shall consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures, with a view to reduce the number of employees attending office at the same time, thereby ensuring social distancing,” it added.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30-lakh mark on August 23 and 40-lakh mark on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29 and 90 lakh on November 20.

According to the health ministry, more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. “Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that a state-wise distribution of the figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.