Delhi government asks DMs to create containment zones as per guidelines

New Delhi: Delhi government, through an order, directed all District Magistrates (DMs) to go through the list of COVID-19 positive cases reported in their area of jurisdiction and create containment zones as per the guidelines of Delhi Disaster Management Authority, Delhi government and the Centre.

Notably, the number of containment zones in the national Capital has come down from 97 to 66 even after COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the city. Over 500 Covid-19 cases were reported in Delhi in two consecutive days.

"Going through the data regarding spread of COVID-19 infection, it is observed that everyday day 300-400 new cases are adding to tally but declaration of equivalent 'Containment Zones' by District Magistrates' is not happening. The guidelines are clear to declare an area as a containment zone where three or more COVID-19 cases discovered in close proximity," it said.

The order further stated that it is important to ensure that the containment zones are delineated based on mapping of cases and contacts, geographical dispersion of cases and contacts, area having well demarcated perimeter and enforceability of perimeter control.

After containment zone is delineated, it said, "The perimeter will be defined and there would be strict perimeter control with establishment of clear entry and exit points, no movement to be allowed except for medical emergencies and essential goods and services, no unchecked influx of population be allowed and people transiting to be recorded and followed through Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)."

The magistrates were also directed to take stringent actions within these containment zones in terms of active search for cases through physical house to house surveillance by special teams formed for the purpose.

The DMs were also directed to take some of the actions in these areas including testing of all cases as per the sampling guidelines, contact tracing, identification of local community volunteers to help in surveillance, contact tracing and risk communication, extensive inter-personal and community based communication, strict social distancing, advocacy on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, environmental sanitation and wearing of masks/face-covers.

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