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Districts in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune in Red Zone as Modi govt divides country to fight Covid




Deserted streets in Mumbai following the lockdown imposed to curb spread of coronavirus | Photo: Vasant Prabhi | ThePrint
Deserted streets in Mumbai following the lockdown imposed to curb spread of coronavirus | Photo: Vasant Prabhu | ThePrint

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New Delhi: The Modi government has identified 170 districts in the country as Covid-19 hotspots classifying them under the Red Zone, 207 districts as non-hotspot districts falling under the White Zone and 353 districts as not affected at all by the pandemic, which fall under the Green Zone.

Going by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement Monday, this means that 353 districts could see restrictions being lifted after 20 April if they continue to record no cases.

The restrictions will not be lifted in the 170 districts marked as Red Zones or hotspots. These include districts in several prominent cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Nagpur, Pune, Indore, among others.

Some of the districts in the White Zone include Gwalior, Kanchipuram, Puducherry, Bareilly, Varanasi, Haridwar and Kalimpong.

Also read: No matter how you look at it, India’s lockdown-2 can cost as many lives as it will save

Exercise after Centre reached out to district magistrates

The comprehensive all-India break-up comes after the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) asked district magistrates to classify their districts into three colour codes — Red, White and Green — on the basis of a criteria received from the empowered group on health.

The list will be updated every week.

According to officials, districts in the country will be arranged in descending order every week on the basis of the number of cases. This was conveyed to the chief secretaries and district magistrates in two separate video-call meetings held by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba Wednesday morning. Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla was also present.

Based on the list, districts that together contribute 80 per cent of the cases in the country will be marked as Red, those with no cases will be marked as Green, and those in the middle will be marked as White.

Also, districts that together contribute 80 per cent of the cases in a state will be marked as Red Zones. Districts that do not fall under either list but have a doubling rate of less than four days will also be included in this category.

Also read: No regular income for 74% low-earning families in Ahmedabad since lockdown, finds IIM survey

Classifications within the zones

Within the Red Zone districts, there will be areas with large outbreaks and clusters, which could see stricter restrictions than the rest of the district.

“To get some economic activity moving post-20 April, the whole district would not be locked down as severely as the areas with large outbreaks and clusters,” an official said.

According to the list, as of 14 April, the 170 hotspot districts have been divided into 123 “hotspot districts with large outbreaks” and 47 “hotspot districts with clusters”.

A district could move from the Red to the Green Zone if it does not report any case for 28 days, and vice-versa.

Districts with no new confirmed cases for 28 days will be marked as Green Zones.

According to the list, with 22 Red Zone districts, Tamil Nadu has recorded the maximum number of districts with hotspots, followed by Andhra Pradesh (16), Maharashtra (14), Uttar Pradesh (13), Rajasthan (12) and Delhi (10).

The UTs and states to not have any districts in the Red or White Zones are Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Manipur and Sikkim.

Also read: Agriculture, construction and manufacturing units get relief under new norms for lockdown 2



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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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