Delhi’s 42 Covid-19 hotspots offer hope, not red zone ground rules

At Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s marathon video conference with chief ministers on Monday, many states had made the point that the lockdown should continue only in the containment zones and people living outside this hotspot should be encouraged to get on with their lives and resume economic activity.
Nearly half of Delhi’s 80-odd containment zones stand a good chance of coming out of the hard lockdown over the next few days but the city will mostly remain a red zone with limited relaxations beyond 18 May if the Centre does not tweak its policy of listing districts and not specific localities as red zones, a senior Delhi government official told Hindustan Times.

“It is going to be a huge setback if the health ministry does not revisit the concept, practice and impact of notifying districts as red zones,” the official said.

At internal meetings, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have articulated their reservations about the health ministry’s one-size-fits-all approach that applies the same formula to a district in a metro such as Delhi as a rural district in Odisha or Chhattisgarh.

“We have conveyed the point to the Prime Minister and Home Minister and are hopeful of a change,” the official said.
At Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s marathon video conference with chief ministers on Monday, many states had made the point that the lockdown should continue only in the containment zones and people living outside this hotspot should be encouraged to get on with their lives and resume economic activity.

PM Modi did not get into the details but signalled that states would have a greater say in determining the extent of restrictions and relaxations in lockdown 4.0 within a broad national framework.
An official said some leeway to determine the containment zone also would help. For example, he said they have placed 2,600 people under a hard lockdown in Pratap Khand, Shiva Khand and Govind Khand of Jhilmil colony though cases had been reported from only Pratap Khand part of this locality.
As of 13 May, a senior government official said, of the 80 containment zones in the national capital, Covid-19 cases were being reported from only 39. The remaining 41 containment zones have not reported a single case over the last fortnight and would be taken out of the containment zone policy if this trend continues.

But under the existing red, orange and green classification of districts, this would not help.

Because the remaining 39 containment zones are spread across 10 of 11 districts of Delhi.

“If the Centre does not change its policy, 10 districts of Delhi would still come under the red zone classification,” he said.

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