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No community level transmission in India so far: Health Ministry

Briefing  media in New Delhi, Health Ministry official said that the Districts of the country have been classified into three categories – hot spot districts, non-hot spot districts and green zone districts. He said, Hot spot districts will be those where either large number of cases are being reported or where rate of growth of COVID19 cases is high. Non hot spot districts will be those where  cases are being reported and green zone districts will be those where there is no COVID-19 case. The official also informed that so far 170 hot spot districts and 207 non hot spot districts have been identified.

The official said, Ministry of Health has also issued detailed directions to states regarding Lockdow which has been extended to 3rd of May. He said, Districts have been told to set up dedicated  COVID-19 hospitals, health centres and COVID Care Centres. Districts have been told to promote proper pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions and to orient all staff involved in infection control practices and proactively train relevant staff in clinical management. The official also informed that Cabinet Secretary held a video conference today with all Chief Secretaries, DGPs, Health Secretaries, Collectors, SPs, Municipal Commissioners and CMOs where hot spots was discussed and orientation on field level implementation of containment strategy was given.

Large outbreak and cluster outbreak containment strategy, delineation of buffer and  containment zone, parameter mapping, defining of entry and exit points were discussed in detail. He also said that special teams working in containment zone will do contact tracing and house-to-house survey and health facilities in buffer zone will be oriented and people facing SARS and influenza-like symptoms will be tested there. He said, they have asked districts to formulate District-level Crisis Management Plan for  COVID-19 and containment plan has to be implemented uniformly in the whole nation. The Health Ministry official reiterated that there is no community transmission in the country so far.

Home Ministry official said that the Ministry has issued an order today making relaxations regarding essential services in areas which are not hot spots or containment zones. He said, they have to however ensure that lockdown measures are followed and some prerequisite steps are taken to ensure social distancing. He said, supply chain of essential goods and services and shops selling these goods can continue to function, so that citizens do not face any problem.

The official said, there is no restriction on functioning of any component of the health system during second phase of lockdown. He said, work of MNREGA will be allowed to take place during the lockdown period and proper Social Distancing norms should be  followed. He said, this has been done in order to encourage the rural economy. 

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