Nagaland issues revised SOP amid surge in Covid-19 cases; total lockdown to depend on situation
New SOP for schools and transport service likely on Monday
Kohima, April 16 (EMN): The government of Nagaland on Friday issued a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) as precautionary measure amid Covid-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Kohima, state’s spokesperson for Covid-19 and advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon said that all gatherings and functions will be limited to 50% capacity for indoor, while it will depend on the sitting arrangements in case of open spaces.
The revised SOP supersedes the government’s earlier notification which allowed 100% occupancy at events, including religious gatherings. The new order has directed strict adherence to the SOP in all functions.
Kikon further stated that new SOP for transportation sector, schools and educational institutions will be issued in a few days’ time, likely on Monday.
On HSLC, HSSLC examinations
Meanwhile, in view of the ongoing High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) and Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examinations conducted by the Nagaland Board of School Education, it was informed that in the event of any students being tested positive for the virus, such persons would be made to isolate and barred from appearing the examination till they are tested negative.
However, arrangement will be made for such students to write the missed subjects at a later date.
The HSSLC and HSLC exams, which began on April 6 and the 7th respectively, will conclude on April.
Total lockdown only if necessary
The spokesperson for Covid-19 said that the Nagaland Epidemic Act is still being enforced and extended with the second wave affected the people across the country.
Kikon said ‘stricter rules have to be imposed’. But on the possibility of imposing a total lockdown in the state as a measure to curb the spread of the disease, he said it would depend on the situation.
He added that the state Cabinet and High Powered Committee already had a series of meetings in preparation of the second wave and also being briefed by the department of Health and Family Welfare.
Kikon informed that organisers will be required to take permission from the government for any upcoming tournaments.
It came close on the heels of the 21st Inter-district Football Championship 2021 (Dr. T Ao Trophy) being suspended after Covid positive cases were detected.
The press conference was also attended by state’s spokesperson for Covid-19 and Minister Neiba Kronu and Home Commissioner, Abhijit Sinha.
What is permitted, what is not
Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Secretary J Alam issued an order on Friday, stating that the government’s revised SOP should be strict implementation in the state with immediate effect. Here are revised SOP issued by the state government:
- Social gatherings – academic, entertainment, cultural, political and religious – are permitted outside the containment zones, but the crowd should be limited to 50% of the seating capacity, or 200 persons, whichever is lower; wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision of thermal screening and use of hand wash or sanitiser is mandatory.
- In open spaces, the upper limit on social gathering is 50% of the seating capacity wherever there are seating galleries, and in other cases, the limit on the gatherings will be decided by the size of the ground or venue. Strict adherence to social distancing, wearing of face masks, provision of thermal screening and hand wash or sanitiser is mandatory.
- In any public gathering, festivities of any kind should be kept at the bare minimum, and in case the number of persons in the gatherings in open spaces is more than 200, prior permission of the concerned DTF should be taken, which may impose additional restrictions depending on the local conditions.
- At religious places or places of worship, the upper limit on gatherings is 50% of the seating capacity or 200 persons, whichever is lower, and subject to strict adherence to all safety measures that are applied to other social events.
- Any intra-district sports events require prior permission from the respective DTF, which will ensure strict adherence to SOP and even impose additional restrictions if required. In case of bigger, or inter-district sports events, the requisite permission and necessary directions will be given by the Home department.
- Theatres, multiplexes and cinema halls are permitted to open outside the containment zones with 50% of the seating capacity subject to strict adherence of SOP.