Delhi Govt Approves Four-stage, Colour-coded Alert System To Tackle Possible Third Covid Wave
Amid rising concerns of a third Covid wave hitting the country, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday approved a four-stage, colour-coded alert system, which will be imposed in the national capital to contain the spread of the virus.
The four colour codes are—Yellow, Amber, Orange and Red. The colour codes have been differentiated based on the Covid positivity rate (on two consecutive days), cumulative number of new cases (over a week) and average oxygenated-bed occupancy (for a week).
According to officials, many social activities such as marriages and funerals will be allowed across all the four grades, but the number of people who will be allowed to attend such events will vary depending on the intensity of the colour code.
Further, night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will be imposed across regions designated under the Yellow, Amber and Orange codes but there will be “total curfew” in regions where the ‘Red’ alert is sounded.
According to the proposed action plan, marriage and funeral functions will continue during all the four levels of action, with crowd size ranging from 20 (yellow and amber) to 15 (orange and red) for both the social activities.
Religious places will open but with no visitors across the four graders of the action plan.
Other gatherings and congregations of social, religious, political nature, entertainment-related events and festival gatherings will not be permitted in any of the four categories of the plan that may come into force in future.
Schools, colleges, libraries, educational training and coaching institutions will also be closed if the plan comes into force, in any of the colour-coded category, the proposed plan said, adding, business-to-business exhibitions will not be permitted across the four categories of action plan.
Public parks, gardens, and golf courses will operate under the ‘Yellow’ category but will be closed in the remaining ones.
Sports complexes, stadia and swimming pool facilities will closed, except for national or international sporting events, across all four categories — yellow, amber, orange and red, the plan says.
The ‘Yellow’ (Level-1) alert will be sounded when the positivity rate crosses 0.5 per cent or new cases increase to 1,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 500.
The corresponding response will involve allowing construction, manufacturing activities and the opening of shops and establishments of essential goods.
The next level of alert coded with ‘Amber’ colour (L-2) will come into force if the positivity rate rises above one per cent or new cases number 3,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaching 700.
The ‘Orange’ or L-3 alert will be the next stage which will kick-in if the positivity rate crosses two per cent or new cases number 9,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy becomes 1,000.
The ‘Red’ alert (L-4) will be the highest level and will come into force if the positivity rate crosses five per cent or new cases rise to 16,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 3,000.
However, shops and establishments of essential goods and services will be allowed to open during all the four levels of alerts, as per the draft action plan.
The colour-coded response action plan was passed on Friday during a DDMA meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to deal with a possible third wave of coronavirus, under which curbs will be implemented in accordance with the severity of the COVID-19 situation here.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister, among others attended the meeting.
“The ‘Graded Response Action Plan’ was passed in the DDMA meeting today. No doubts will remain about when the lockdown will be imposed or when it will open. Discussion also held about the Delta plus variant. We have to stop this variant from spreading in Delhi, for which the government is taking all necessary steps,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
As per the draft action plan, central government offices will operate as per the directions of the Union government, when any of the four-level plan comes into force.
For various government departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies, local bodies of Delhi, “all government offices with attendance of staff (GR-I DASS/S.O. & above and equivalent) with 100 per cent attendance and remaining staff with 50 per cent attendance,” for the ‘Yellow’ and ‘Amber’ category.
For the ‘Orange’ category, it will be 33 per cent for the remaining staff, and for the ‘Red’ category, only government offices providing emergency and essential services will be permitted to function with 100 per cent staff attendance.
However, all government offices which are providing essential and emergency services will operate with 100 per cent staff attendance in the first three categories of the action plan as well.
Private offices will be allowed to function up to 50 per cent of staff attendance between 9 AM to 5 PM (offices falling under exempted category are allowed with 100 per cent) under the ‘Yellow’ and ‘Amber’ levels action plan. And, for ‘Orange’ and ‘Red’ levels, only those falling under exempted categories shall be permitted.
(With PTI inputs)