New Delhi: Taking preventive measures, the Uttarakhand government on Tuesday extended the coronavirus guidelines till January 31 and said the all need to maintain caution and strict surveillance. “In view of fresh surge in cases globally and emergence of new variant of virus in the United Kingdom, there is need to maintain caution and strict surveillance,” the state government said in its order. Also Read - Delhi Government Extends COVID Guidelines for UK Returnees Till January 31

The development comes after 7 of the 227 people, who came to Uttarakhand from England earlier this month before flight operations from that country were suspended, have tested positive for COVID-19. Also Read - Uttarakhand Geared Up to Play Host to First-ever Snow Leopard Tours, All You Need to Know

According to updates, five of them are in Dehradun district and one each is in Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar districts. All the 227 people arrived in the state from England between December 9 and December 23, when India decided to suspend flights to and from that country amid fears of a new and more infectious variant of the coronavirus being found there.

On Monday, the Union Home Ministry maintained the COVID-19 restrictions on various activities, noting that while there has been a continuous decline in active cases in India, there is a need for surveillance, containment and caution due to a surge globally and the emergence of a new variant of the virus in the UK.

Issuing a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it has issued fresh guidelines for surveillance with regard to COVID-19 that will remain in force till January 31, as it asked the states and union territories to keep a strict vigil to prevent any rise in cases during the New Year celebrations and the winter season.

It also asked the states and UTs to actively support central authorities in the preparations for an expected vaccination drive.

The ministry said a focussed approach on surveillance and containment and a strict observance of the guidelines and SOPs issued by it and the health ministry, as envisaged in the guidelines issued last month, need to be enforced by the states and union territories.