View of Khoda Colony in Ghaziabad amid lockdown (PTI file photo)
GHAZIABAD: A notification issued by principal secretary Amit Mohan Prasad has put Ghaziabad’s city area back in the red zone along with Agra, Meerut, Kanpur city and Noida.
The parameters to decide which district is classified under which zone have also been laid down in the notification — number of active cases, number of active cases per lakh population, doubling rate (the time it takes for the number of cases to double), case fatality rate (the number of deaths as a ratio of the number of cases), testing ratio (number of tests per lakh population) and sample positivity rate (number of samples that tested positive in comparison with the total number of samples tested).
The change in Ghaziabad’s colour-coding will have an impact on the easing of existing regulations that is expected on Friday.
Districts with no case for 21 days will be considered green zones. In Ghaziabad, the number of cases has nearly tripled in the past 21 days. It had been declared an orange zone by the Centre on April 30 — it had 66 cases then, of which 19 were active. In the past three weeks, that shot up to 196 cases, of which 33 are active now (161 recovered and discharged in this time). District magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey, however, had a different take — uniformity.
“All three cities around Ghaziabad — Delhi, Noida and Meerut — are in the red zone. That is why our district is also in the red zone. It will ensure uniform policy,” he said.
How were the six parameters laid out by the government taken into account then? The district magistrate only said that the state government had relied on the data provided by the districts, without getting into specifics.
If that were the case, the earlier categorisation of Ghaziabad as an orange zone would not meet the geographical proximity and uniformity criteria.
On April 30, when it was declared an orange zone, the NCR cities around it were in the red zone.
The principal secretary has asked the district magistrate, in the meantime, to frame a plan to control the spread of the infection at his own discretion.
The district administration is yet to issue the guidelines for shops, industries and other sectors in the fourth phase of lockdown. The Centre had issued the guidelines on Sunday and the state on Monday.
Noida, which is a red zone, has already issued its guidelines and the city opened up for business on Thursday.
The Ghaziabad DM attributed the delay to the wait for a decision regarding the containment plan.
“The declaration regarding the red zone was announced on Wednesday evening. Now, we will need to incorporate changes in this regard. A comprehensive guideline while keeping the new development in mind will be issued by Friday,” the district magistrate told TOI.