As the fourth lockdown ends on May 31, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday held a meeting with municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 COVID-19 hit cities, considered to be the worst coronavirus-affected locations in the country. These cities are learnt to constitute about 70 per cent of the positive cases in the country.
The meeting was also attended by chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories where the overall situation and the steps being taken by each were discussed. Municipal commissioners of Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi/New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu) attended the meeting.
A top to bottom approach is being planned for geographically mapping, monitoring and isolating the worst affected cities and districts reporting maximum Covid cases in the country. For the phasing out of the lockdown measures, government officials said the idea is to identify affected areas with well-demarcated perimeter where enforceability can be ensured. For municipal corporations, residential colony, mohallas, municipal wards or police-station area, municipal zones, towns can be designated as containment zones, as appropriate.
It was stressed by the Centre that to make this strategy successful, the cities need to ensure that the area should be appropriately defined by the district administration and local urban body, with technical inputs from local level.
District magistrates or collectors of the 13 cities joined the meeting where measures taken by the officials and the staff of the municipal corporations for the management of COVID-19 cases were reviewed.
The Centre has been pushing for defining geographic areas of containment zones based on factors like mapping of cases and contacts, geographical dispersion of cases and contacts.
The main focus of this strategy includes working on high-risk factors, indices such as confirmation rate, fatality rate, doubling rate, tests per million people, etc. The central government has already issued guidelines on management of COVID-19 in urban settlements.