Out of the country’s 640 districts in India, 170— which is roughly a quarter—have been identified as coronavirus hotspots and 207 districts have been identified as potential hotspots, the Centre said on Wednesday, asking the states to ensure that the disease is contained there.
Special teams will be working in the containment zones of the hot spots, doing a door-to-door survey and testing people not just for COVID-19 but also influenza-related illness and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness).
The Health Ministry has said restrictions will continue to apply on hot zones for the next 28 days till all the patients are recovered and no new patients have been detected. In rural areas, the hotspots will have a 3 km radius. And for buffer zones (orange zones) it will be 7 km.
The ministry also said it would have to be the state and district administrations which will have to decide on the epicentre of the infections. The yardsticks would include contacts and clusters among other things. In urban areas, it would be difficult to specify areas.
“The state and districts know the best and the Centre can’t decide,” health ministry’s joint secretary Lav Agarwal said.
The states have also been asked to report on the rate at which the virus is spreading—doubling or increase in cases—and on the basis of it, the list of hot spots will be revised. “This is a continuous and rolling exercise,” he said.