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Centre writes to states listing key parameters to decide on three zones

In a letter written to all state chief secretaries, Union health secretary listed out the factors that must be used to classify districts and follow ground-level action.

Published: 18th May 2020 08:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2020 08:47 AM   |  A+A-

Police barricading the village after it was declared as a containment zone.

Police barricading the village after it was declared as a containment zone.

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre, on Sunday, said states can designate red, orange and green zones for Covid-19 management but shared a detailed list of critical parameters that the district authorities are required to follow while categorizing areas for stringent containment measures.

In a letter written to all state chief secretaries, Union health secretary listed out the factors that must be used to classify districts and follow ground-level action. The parameters, according to the communique, comprise total active cases, active cases per lakh population, doubling rate (calculated over seven days), case fatality rate, testing ratio (number of tests per lakh population) and sample positivity rate.

The situation in a district, city or municipal area would be considered “critical” if there are more than 200 cases, the doubling rate is less than 14 days, active cases per lac population is more than 15, testing ratio is less than 65 and case fatality rate is more than six per cent.

The letter added that the areas that were “desirable” are — those with zero case or no case in 21 days; areas with doubling rate more than 28 days, case fatality rate of less than 1 per cent; tests per one lakh people more than 200 and sample positivity rate of less than 2 per cent.

The ministry’ letter to states comes in the backdrop of demands made by several Chief Ministers seeking more powers to decide on the classification of virus-affected districts.

The Union government has now said that the parameters will be shared with states from time to time and can be revised in following weeks.

Earlier,  the health ministry had said the categorisation of districts would be dynamic and will be decided centrally. The arrangement allowed states to only classify additional red or orange zones but did not let them move red or orange districts.

The health secretary meanwhile also reiterated the measures to be taken in a containment zone, such as active door-to-door surveillance, contact tracing, seeking community help in surveillance and clinical management of all confirmed cases.

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