A BMC health worker takes a swab sample from an outside passenger for COVID-19 testing, at Dadar station. (PTI)

Explained: What are the Center to States guidelines for Omicron containment

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday issued state-specific guidance in the context of “early signs of a surge” in Covid-19 cases as well as increased detection of the worrisome variant (VoC ), Omicron, in different parts of the country. These recommendations focus on containment and restriction strategies in districts reporting high positivity rates, including imposing a nighttime curfew, strict regulation of large gatherings, reducing the number of marriages.

What are these guidelines?

First, the Department of Health said that if a 10% more test positivity rate is reported in the past week, or, if the district reports 40% or more bed occupancy on beds at oxygen or intensive care beds – district level containment measures and restrictions may be in place.

Can restrictions be imposed by districts even if districts report less than 10% positivity?

Yes. The health ministry said that depending on the local situation and population characteristics such as density, and keeping in mind Omicron’s higher transmissibility, states may take containment measures and restrictions even before these thresholds are reached.