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Himachal Pradesh ready for lockdown-II, six zones created

Shimla: Barely 48 hours left for end of 21 –day lockdown, Himachal Pradesh on Sunday stepped up its preparations to maintain ongoing restrictions with specific focus on the hotspots and giving relief to green zones –where no Coronavirus cases have been reported. Himachal Pradesh, till now, has reported 32 COVID-19 positive cases, at least 22 of these are linked to Tablighi Jamaat. Nine have been discharged from the hospitals after their recovery.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who held a meeting with top government officials, announced creation of six zones in the state to manage existing and new Coronavirus cases in the next two weeks.

"We will use red, orange and green –colour code for traffic lights for areas affected by the COVID-19 and virus-free zones as decided in the Prime Minister 's meeting with Chief Ministers on Saturday," said Thakur.

There will be no relaxations in the areas, where maximum number of Coronavirus cases have been detected as to stop its community transmission. More sampling of the community will be done in these zones.

But, in other areas an exit policy will be implemented for revival of the economy as well. The government is particularly concerned about farmers of lower Himachal Pradesh areas for their harvesting season and state's fruit belt to facilitate various operations for the new crop season of apples, cherry and almonds.

He said "a staggered exit plan is required to bring back the normalcy and taking care of monetary and food requirements of the vulnerable sections, including migrant workers." The state would be divided into six zones viz. red zone, orange (4 zones) and green zone for the sake of drafting exit plan from COVID-19 lockdown.

The exit plan would be prepared keeping in view health and economic variables. On economic front, effectiveness in preventing spread and impact of the current lockdown on State's economy and its likely extension, its impact on poor and other vulnerable sections would be taken into consideration.

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