Covid-19 update: Gurugram classified as ‘orange zone’ as lockdown is extended
Gurugram on Friday was classified as an orange zone, from earlier red zone, by the Union ministry of health and family welfare.
An orange zone includes districts where new cases are emerging, but at a decreasing rate. A red zone is a hotspot area where cases there is a steady jump in cases frequently. Green zones are areas where no confirmed case has been reported in the last 21 days.
The new colour code for Gurugram, however, is unlikely to spell any relief in terms of relaxations in lockdown norms, unless the state government frames specific guidelines regarding the same, district administration officials said. Districts in orange or red zones in the state will continue to work towards breaking the chain of transmission through effective and stringent containment measures.
The Central government on Friday had extended the Covid-19 lockdown, which started on March 25 last month, by 14 more days.
“Central government has changed the classification of red and orange zones by redefining the parameters. But the new classification won’t lead to relaxation till the state government gives its own orders based on the guidelines issued by the Union ministry of home affairs for measures that need to be taken in red, orange and green zones in the extended lockdown,” said VS Kundu, CEO, Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), who is also the monitoring in-charge for Covid-19 in Gurugram.
In Haryana, two districts — Faridabad and Sonepat — continue to be in the red zone, while Gurugram, Nuh, Palwal and 15 other districts are under orange zone. Only Mahendergarh and Rewari are under green zone. Till now, 357 Covid-19 cases have been reported in the state, of which 112 are undergoing treatment. Gurugram, Nuh, Palwal and Faridabad have been the most affected districts. At least 63 cases have been reported from Gurugram, 61 from Faridabad, 58 from Nuh and at least 34 from Palwal.
There has been a change how colour coding is decided, with the Union government now factoring in other aspects — like doubling rate of Covid-19 cases, testing and surveillance — instead of just looking at cumulative number of cases. In Haryana, cases are doubling after every 20 days.
On Thursday, Union health ministry had written to all states and said state government can designate additional red and orange zones but they cannot relax rules in the districts already classified as red or orange zone by the Central government. The colour-coding of districts will remain a dynamic process as it will be revised weekly. Currently, there are 130 red zone districts across the country, 284 orange zones and 319 green zones.
As per the MHA guidelines, in an orange district like Gurugram maximum precautions will be taken in the containment zones, with restriction on public movement — except for medical emergencies and for supply of essential goods and services. Even in areas outside the containment zones, interstate movement will be restricted. Schools, colleges, cinema halls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, theatres, bars and other public places will continue to remain closed. However, taxis and cabs will be allowed to ply with a driver and two passengers. Inter-district movement will be allowed only for permitted activities.
Being an orange zone, the Gurugram administration has already permitted 513 industries to operate.
Lav Agrwal, joint secretary, Union health ministry, on Friday said, “Districts under the red and orange zone will have break the chain of transmission through effective and stringent containment measures.”
He said that these districts will have to be delineated based on mapping of cases and contacts, their geographical dispersion, stringent perimeter control, like setting up clear entry and exit points, restricted movement — except for medical emergencies and essential goods and services — no unchecked influx of population, active surveillance, contact tracing, clinical management of all confirmed cases. Also, in the buffer zone, people infected with Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) will have to be monitored.