The Central government on Wednesday identified 170 districts in the country as COVID-19 hotspots and classified them under the Red Zone, which will have the strictest lockdown measures to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. The Centre has declared 170 hotspots --- 123 hotspot districts with large outbreaks and 47 hotspot districts with clusters --- in 25 states and Union territories. The list includes all six metros and various other large cities. The list includes all nine districts of the national capital.
Hotspot districts with large outbreaks in Delhi are south, south-east, Shahdara, west, north, central, New Delhi, East, south-west in Delhi while north-west has been identified as hotspot district with clusters. North-east falls under non-hotspot districts reporting cases.
Besides, hotspots districts with large outbreaks include 22 districts from Tamil Nadu, 11 each from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, nine from Uttar Pradesh, eight from Telangana, six from Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir, five from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, four from West Bengal, Punjab and Haryana and three from Karnataka. One each from Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
Besides the government has also identified 207 non-hotspot districts with clusters in 27 states. Districts witnessing a high number of cases or high growth rate of infections are being marked as hotspots; districts where some cases have been found as non-hotspots; and those which have reported no cases as green zones.
In a letter to all chief secretaries of states and UTs, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said hotspot districts need to ensure implementation of the outbreak containment plan, adding that the states also need to identify hotspots based on the doubling rate of confirmed cases.
"This exercise of identification of hotspots has to be done on a weekly basis (every Monday) or earlier. Strict containment measures need to be implemented in these hotspots," she said. Further, for non-hotspot districts reporting cases, states need to ensure that containment measures are taken so as to ensure that cases in these areas can be contained.
The letter, however, does not specify any district as a green zone. Addressing the daily briefing to provide updates on coronavirus situation in the country, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal said that states have been asked to classify districts which have reported a higher number of cases as hotspots, the districts where cases have been reported as non-hotspots, and green zones where no cases have been reported.
The death toll due to Coronavirus rose to 392 with 39 fatalities reported since Tuesday evening, while the number of cases saw a jump of 1,118 to go up to 11,933 on Wednesday, according to the Union Health Ministry. As many as 1,343 people were cured and discharged, and one has migrated, it said. A single day highest increase of 1,463 cases was recorded on Tuesday.
(With PTI inputs)