Lockdown To Continue In India’s Metropolitan Cities Even After May 3

There are 130 red zones in the country right now, according to the Union Home Ministry’s release. 

The New Delhi Junction railway station stands deserted. (Photographer. T. Narayan/Bloomberg)
The New Delhi Junction railway station stands deserted. (Photographer. T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Lockdown will continue in India’s metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad even after the government relaxes restrictions from May 4.

The latest list released by the Union Health Ministry shows that all these cities fall under the red zone—areas with a large number of cases. The Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has sent a letter to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories grading districts in three categories, red, orange and green. There are 130 red zones, 284 orange zones and 319 green zones in the country.

This classification is multi-factorial and takes into consideration incidence of cases, doubling rate, extent of testing and surveillance feedback to classify the districts. 
Preeti Sudan, Union Health Secretary In Her Letter To State Chief Secretaries  

The Union Home Ministry is working on a new set of restrictions which will allow for at least some non-essential economic activity to resume in the green zones, according to a tweet put out by the Ministry’s spokesperson.

The district wise break up comes as the number of cases in India rose to 35,043 on Friday morning. 1,147 have succumbed to the respiratory illness so far.

State-wise Break-up

All 11 districts in the national capital region are in the red zone. Mumbai and its adjoining areas also fall under the red zone, while Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have the highest concentration of cases with 19 and 14 districts falling under the red zone, respectively.

States with most number of red zones:

  • Uttar Pradesh - 19
  • Maharashtra - 14
  • Delhi - 11
  • Tamil Nadu - 12
  • West Bengal - 10

Karnataka’s two main cities – Bengaluru and Mysuru also fall under the red zone.

The Union Health Secretary has reiterated the need to initiate all necessary action in the red and orange zones to contain the spread of the virus. She has also called for a buffer zone to be created around these areas.

The containment plan includes:

1. Establishing clear entry and exit points

2. No movement except medical emergencies and essential goods and services

3. No unchecked influx of population

4. Active search for cases through house-to-house surveillance, testing of all cases, contact tracing and clinical management of all confirmed cases.

If one or more of these zones have reported no cases for last 21 days, they can be considered one level lower in zonal classification, Sudan said in the letter. District authorities should, however, exercise due caution in such areas.

“The list will be revised on a weekly basis or earlier and communicated to states for further follow-up action in consonance with the directions issued by Ministry of Home Affairs under the Disaster Management Act, 2005," Sudan added in the letter.