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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Yellow, Amber, Orange, Red: How colour-coded system will work during Covid surge in Delhi

The measures are part of the graded response action plan that will be implemented to tackle future surge of cases in the capital.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: July 4, 2021 10:33:24 am
Weekly market in Pandav nagar in Delhi (Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav)

Malls and markets will be automatically brought under odd-even restrictions if Covid cases show an uptick, triggering a ‘yellow alert’, while construction work, factories, markets, and Metro services will shut down if the government sounds an orange alert.

The measures are part of the graded response action plan that will be implemented to tackle future surge of cases in the capital. It is in the final stages of being drafted by an 8-member committee, which was notified on May 27 to draw up guidelines on when to announce a lockdown and the degree of strictness that various situations require.

The alerts — Yellow, Amber, Orange and Red — will be sounded based on positivity rate, or cumulative new positive cases, or average oxygen bed occupancy in hospitals, according to sources. While red is the highest level of alert, most economic and social activities and public transport facilities will come to a halt with the announcement of an orange alert itself:

Yellow: This alert will go out if positivity rate remains over 0.5% for two consecutive days, or cumulative new positive cases (for a duration of one week) touch 1,500 cases, or average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 500 for a week.

Restrictions: Shops in markets and malls dealing with non-essential goods and services will be allowed to open as per the odd-even formula between 10 am to 8 pm, while one weekly market will be allowed per municipal zone at half the capacity of vendors. Construction activities and industrial establishments/ manufacturing units will be allowed to operate.

Amber: The city will enter the next phase of restrictions if test positivity rate remains over 1% for two consecutive days, or 3,500 new cases in a week, or average oxygen bed occupancy remaining over 700 over the course of a week.

Restrictions: Construction activities and manufacturing units will be allowed. However, timings of shops in markets and malls will be from 10 am to 6 pm.

Orange: Stricter restrictions under the orange alert will kick if test positivity remains over 2% for two straight days. It will also be sounded if the city records 9,000 cases over a week’s time or the average occupancy of oxygen hospital beds remains 1,000 for seven consecutive days.

Restrictions: All malls and markets will close, except shops dealing with essential goods such as groceries, milk booths, chemists. Metro services will close, buses will be permitted to operate with 50% seating capacity only with passengers engaged in essential activities. Autos, cabs, e-rickshaws will be allowed to take a maximum of two passengers.

Orange alert will also bring construction activities to a halt. Only those sites offering accommodation facilities to labourers will be allowed. However, very few such sites can actually operate due to unavailability of raw material and transport services as other sectors shut down. For factories, only those producing essential commodities will be allowed if workers can live on site.

Red: If the test positivity rate breaches 5% two days in a row, or the city records 16,000 news cases in a week. It will also kick in if average occupancy of oxygen beds in hospitals remains 3,000 or above over a week.

Restrictions: Curbs on economic activities remain the same as that under the orange alert. More restrictions will be in place for public transport.

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