Third COVID-19 wave: Delhi government panel devises color-coded response system
A Delhi government panel on managing the possible third wave of COVID-19 has devised a color-coded mechanism that prescribes a graded response, including the closure of most economic activities at the highest "Red" level alert. The color-coded response system prepared by an eight-member state-level expert committee will come into effect after getting approval from the Delhi government, officials said Wednesday.
The color codes will designate four levels of alerts
The color codes—based on positivity rate (on two consecutive days), the cumulative number of new cases (over a week), and average oxygenated-bed occupancy (for a week)—designate four levels of alerts. The graded response involves restricting economic activities as per the level of alert linked with the severity of the pandemic. Shops and essential goods establishments/services will be allowed to open during all four levels.
Yellow alert will be sounded when positivity rate crosses 0.5%
"Yellow" (Level-1) alert is sounded when the positivity rate crosses 0.5% or new cases reach 1,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 500. The corresponding response involves allowing construction/manufacturing activities and the opening of essential goods shops/establishments. However, shops/establishments of nonessential goods/services and malls operate on an odd-even basis from 10:00 am-8:00 pm. Only one weekly market per zone with 50% vendors will be allowed.
When positivity rate rises above 1%, Amber alert is sounded
The next level of alert coded with "Amber" color (L-2) will be sounded if the positivity rate rises above 1% or new cases rise to 3,500 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 700. "Amber" alert will invoke the same responses as "Yellow" one except that malls and shops of nonessential goods and services will be allowed to open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm only.
Orange alert, the next stage in the color-coded mechanism
"Orange" (L-3) alert is the next stage that kicks in if the positivity rate crosses 2% or new cases soar to 9,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy touches 1,000. Construction activities will be allowed only with onsite laborers; industrial activities are restricted except those related to essentials and defense production. Malls/weekly markets will be closed. Only standalone nonessential shops will open from 10:00 am-6:00 pm.
Red alert is sounded if positivity rate crosses 5%
The "Red" alert (Level-4) will be the highest level and will come into force if the positivity rate crosses 5% or new cases rise to 16,000 or oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 3,000. Construction activities with onsite laborers and industrial manufacturing of essential commodities, national security, and defense-related productions will be allowed. Malls and weekly markets will be closed while standalone nonessential shops can open.
Expert committee was formed to manage possible third wave
To recall, this eight-member state-level expert committee was formed by the Delhi government back in May to devise a strategy to mitigate and manage the possible third wave of COVID-19 in the national capital.