Ghaziabad urban slips back into Red Zone, six more cases emergeUpdated: May 21, 2020 23:31 IST
Based on the directions issued by the Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday night, urban areas of Ghaziabad district have been categorised as ‘red zones’. The government has also listed urban settlements in Gautam Budh Nagar, Meerut, Agra and Kanpur City as ‘red zones’.
“The directions came late Wednesday night and the urban areas of Ghaziabad district are now in ‘red zone’ . As per earlier classification by the ministry of health and family Welfare, the district was categorised as ‘orange zone’. So now, the city areas have slipped into the red zone category where only a restricted number of activities are allowed,” Dr NK Gupta, district chief medical officer (CMO) said.
The urban areas in Ghaziabad include localities such as Kaushambi, Vaishali, Indirapuram, Vasundhra, Sahibabad, Raj Nagar Extension, Crossings Republik, Raj Nagar, and Kavi Nagar among others.
Under the new guidelines issued by the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA)on May 17, states and union territories (UTs) were given powers to classify and demark red, green and orange zones while taking into consideration the parameters shared by the health ministry.
The range of the zone can go up to a district, a municipal corporation or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, etc, as decided by respective states and UTs.
Within the red and orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be demarcated by the local authorities taking into account the guidelines of the health ministry.
“Classifying Ghaziabad’s urban areas as ‘red zone’ was done keeping in mind the number of parameters like total active cases, active cases per lakh of population, rate of doubling of cases, fatality rate, testing ratio, and positive sample rate. After the city area was declared a red zone, we prepared a list of 50 areas under category 1 (having one positive case) and another set of 18 areas under category 2 (having more than one positive case). In these containment zones activities will be restricted,” the CMO added.
According to the list, category 1 areas includes pockets in Raj Nagar Extension, Shaheed Nagar, Sahibabad, Jhandapur, Vaishali sector-1, Mohan Nagar, Vasundhara, Loni, Khoda, Sanjay Nagar, and Vijay Nagar among others.
The category 2 containment zones include areas in Khoda, Indirapuram, Dasna Gate, sectors 1 and 5 in Vaishali, Jhandapur and Islam Nagar among others.
Only activities related to essential services are allowed in containment zones. Movement of people in and out of the sealed area is not allowed except for medical emergencies and for getting essential goods.
“We have deployed teams in containment zones which are conducting surveillance activities like door-to-door surveys, collecting samples and sanitisation drives, etc,” Dr Gupta added.
Till Thursday night, the tally of the Covid-19 cases in Ghaziabad stood at 202 out of which 175 people have recovered so far, officials said.
What affected city’s prospects?
The officials said that the number of active cases and the doubling rate put the city moved the city from ‘orange zone’ to ‘red zone’. The city has 37 active cases currently, said officials.
The categorisation was broadly based on six parameters—total active cases (zero or no cases reported in last 21 days is the most desirable scenario), active cases per lakh of population, case doubling rate (more than 28 days desired), case fatality rate (less than 1% of the total population is the desired rate), testing ratio, sample positivity rate ).
“The city lost primarily on two counts— total active cases which are still 37 (till Thursday night), and the doubling rate. The number of cases have doubled at a faster pace. The rest of the parameters are very much in control, but positive cases are being reported at a fast rate each day even though many patients are getting discharged,” Dr Gupta said.
“The cases are coming in each day and there are barely any days with zero cases now. For the city to move out of the ‘red zone’ category, we need zero cases to be reported for 21 days continuously. However, the incidence of positive cases being reported in Ghaziabad is coming down,” Dr DK Sonkar, state observer sent by the Uttar Pradesh government to Ghaziabad.
The first case of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Ghaziabad was reported on March 5 and in a span of about 48 days. the figure reached 50 cases on April 22. On May 5, Ghaziabad had 100 cases.
The next 50 cases (total count 150) were reported in a span of another 10 days, while the district crossed the 200-mark on May 21. Six new cases were reported on Thursday, taking the district’s tally to 202 cases.
The district administration was supposed to roll out the plan for the opening of market areas on Thursday, but in light of the district being classified as a red zone, officials said, they will now release the guidelines on Friday.