MHA extends lockdown for 2 weeks, lists 130 districts as Red Zone
Classification of districts is to be followed by states and UTs till a week post May 3; list to be revised on weekly basis
The government on Friday announced that a "limited" lockdown, including suspension of inter-state travel, air and train services, will continue to remain in force for another two weeks throughout the country from May 4 but some activities would be allowed after classifying areas into Red, Orange and Green zones. The government order, which announced extension of the lockdown invoking the Disaster Management Act, said a limited number of activities would remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the zone.
These prohibited activities include travel by air, rail, Metro and inter-state movement by road, running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training hospitality services, cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums and sports complexes. All social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings and religious places or places of worship for public will also remain shut, the order said but added that movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by MHA.
The home ministry also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into new zones with Red signifying a hotspot.
A health worker cleans an area near Jhalar Math slum, in Kolkata on Friday. Pic/PTI
Divided into zones
The Union health ministry has listed 130 districts in the country in red zone, 284 in orange zone and 319 in green zone on the basis of incidence of cases of COVID-19, doubling rate, extent of testing and surveillance feedback.
This classification of districts is to be followed by states and UTs till a week post May 3, when the second phase of lockdown will end, for containment operations. The list will be revised on a weekly basis or earlier and communicated to states for further follow-up action. Metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad have been designated as red zones in the new classification.
Zone assessment erroneous: Bengal
West Bengal Principal Secretary (Health), Vivek Kumar has written to Union Health Secretary, Preeti Sudan, calling the Centre's assessment of 10 red zones in the state "erroneous". Kumar said in a letter that there are only four red zones — Kolkata, Howrah, North-24 Paraganas and Purba Medinipur. "With regard to the presentation made in the cabinet secretary's video conference with the states, 10 districts were shown in the red zone. This is an erroneous assessment," the letter said.
K'taka cases rise; WB asks clinics to open up
- The COVID-19 total in Karnataka rose to 576 with the addition of 11 new cases, the health department said on Friday. "Eleven new positive cases have been reported from last evening to this noon... Till date, 576 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed," it said.
- Wearing of facial mask in public and work spaces has been made compulsory in the city with violations to attract penalty of Rs 1,000 for first time as part of measures to fight COVID-19. Spitting, urinating and littering in public places have also been banned and such acts will be considered as public offence in the Karnataka capital.
- With Haryana government sealing its borders with Delhi to contain COVID-19 spread, scores of people commuting to Gurugram were sent back on Friday by the state police, which only allowed passage of those associated with essential services.
- The Tamil Nadu government on Friday said it has received over Rs 300 crore in cash and kind towards its battle against Coronavirus. Government employees, corporate entities, individuals, philanthropic organisations and others have contributed Rs 306.42 crore for this purpose to the CM's Public Relief Fund so far.
- Two days after West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee appealed to all doctors across the state to resume private practices in their respective neighbourhoods, majority of private healthcare clinics remained closed owing to unavailability of community physicians on Friday.
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