Delhi will soon get a colour coded response system to control and fight COVID-19 with each colour representing a pre-defined degree of action that needs to be taken, including lockdowns, a d Delhi government source said.
The response system has been divided into four types of alerts- yellow, amber, orange, and red – each of which is based on test positivity rate , new cases, and bed occupancy. The government will take actions, including lockdowns of different intensity and ramping up of medical infrastructure, based on the alert level.
“Yellow is the lowest level of alert and red is the highest. So, if the alert is yellow, the measures are taken by the government, including restrictions or lockdowns, will be less severe compared to red, ehich will see more stringent measures,” the source said.
Plan awaits L-G nod
The plan is yet to be approved by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) but it is expected to get his nod in a week’s time, said officials. “As per the current plan, the yellow alert will kick in if the TPR (Test Positivity Rate) is over 0.5% for two days in a row or average oxygen beds occupied is over 500 in a week or the cumulative new cases are 1,500 or more in a week,” the source said.
Similarly, the red category will kick in if the TPR is more than 5% for two days in a row of if there are more cases in a week or if the oxygen beds occupied are over a particular level.
The plan was prepared by an expert committee formed by the Delhi government on May 27 to prepare for a possible third wave
During the second wave, there was shortage of beds and medical oxygen in the city. On many days, less than 20 ICU beds were available in the whole city and many people admitted to hospitals died as the hospitals ran out of medical oxygen.
Even as the second wave hit the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain were not in favour of imposing lockdowns.
On the March 27, even as cases were rising, Mr. Jain said there is “no possibility of another lockdown”. “For me, lockdown is no solution to COVID-19,” Mr. Jain had said.
But the government had to impose the lockdown from the end of April to control the situation. The order issued on May 27 on the formation of the expert committee, specifically asked it to prepare “clear guidelines on when to announce lockdown and to what degree”.