20th January 2022

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India: Divided in zones united against pandemic

  • 33% population in red zone, 43% in orange.
  • The 284 districts falls in the orange zone account for about 43 per cent of the population,
  • There are 319 districts in the green zone, this form 44 per cent of the total districts, but account for only about a quarter of the population.
  • While 17 percent of the population in the red zone is in Maharashtra, 16 per cent are in Uttar Pradesh and 12 per cent in West Bengal.
  • The 130 districts in the red zone form 17 per cent of the total districts in the country, but account for about 33 per cent of the population (2011 Census).
  • The 284 districts in the orange zone — 39 per cent of the total districts — account for about 43 per cent of the population.
  • The 319 districts in the green zone form 44 per cent of the total districts, but account for only about a quarter of the population.
  • While 17 percent of the populations in the red zone are in Maharashtra, 16 per cent are in Uttar Pradesh and 12 per cent in West Bengal.
  • According to the revised guidelines, green zones are those which have not reported any fresh case in the last 21 days, down from the 28 days earlier.
  • Red zones are defined by taking into account the total number of active COVID-19 cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, and extent of testing & surveillance feedback.
  • The new classification means that some districts which have not reported cases for 14 days can still be listed in the red zone.
  • Earlier, just two criteria for these classifications i.e. total cases and doubling rates. But as the cases increase, the recovery rates change, sampling requirement increases, and we need to change sampling and identification criteria.
  • It should be more broad-based, multi-factorial so that every eventuality for identifying critical areas for intervention is identified and no zone which can go on to become a problem area in the future should be missed out.
  • This is how red and orange zones are defined now. It is critical to preempt an undercurrent of cases that can become unmanageable for the district tomorrow.
  • The list is dynamic – there were 170 red zones on April 15, there are 130 now. However, 42 districts that used to be orange zones are now red zones.
  • A comparison with an Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) list from April 27 shows that 48 districts that had reported no fresh cases for the last 14 days have now been listed as orange or red.
  • Lakhisarai in Bihar had reported no new case in 28 days on April 27, but is now an orange zone.

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