Coronavirus | Let States decide on designating zones, says Puducherry CM

‘For one person who has been affected by the disease, is it fair to turn the entire neighbourhood into a containment zone?’ asks V. Narayanasamy

Updated - May 10, 2020 09:56 pm IST

Published - May 10, 2020 07:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy. File

Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy. File

If one person tests positive for COVID-19 in a particular area of a neighbourhood, the entire neighborhood should not be sealed for 28 days, Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said on Sunday.

Also read: Formulate a national plan for handling coronavirus crisis, Congress tells Centre

His comments come just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet Chief Ministers for a review of the ongoing lockdown.

“For one person who has been affected by the disease, is it fair to turn the entire neighbourhood into a containment zone?” Mr. Narayanasamy asked, speaking to The Hindu over phone.

“In Sundar Nagar of Ariyankuppam, there was one COVID[-19] positive case who recovered after being hospitalised. But for 28 days, nearly 5,000 families were locked up. How will they earn their livelihood?” he asked.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Spell out goalpost in dealing with pandemic, Congress tells PM

On May 7, the Puducherry Chief Minister wrote to Mr. Modi and asked the Centre to leave it to the States to designate Red, Orange and Green zones.

‘A small State’

In his letter to the Prime Minister, he argued that for a small State like Puducherry, “it is impossible to create more containment zones and paralyse the economy”.

“In the name of COVID-19 and lockdown, the State machinery should not be brought to a grinding halt, including the closure of industries and businesses that are a source of employment and revenue for the States. Therefore, the Government of India may spell out an exit policy so that the States can prepare themselves,” he said in his letter to the Prime Minister.

Other CMs of Congress-ruled States, like Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh, in a written communication with the Prime Minister, made a similar point about letting the State governments decide on opening up specific areas for economic activity.

Stringent norms

The current norms for the marking of the zones are quite stringent. While falling under a Red zone effectively means 100% lockdown with only essential services allowed, in Orange zones, some very limited activities are allowed. Green zones are the zones where most of the recent relaxations with regard to economic activities are allowed.

But the moment a COVID-19 positive case is found in an area, it becomes a Red zone. It turns Orange if no fresh case is reported for 14 days — the incubation cycle of the virus — in a particular area. The zone becomes Green only after no fresh cases is reported for 28 days.

“Our administration is doing aggressive screening, where a team of doctors and nurses look for symptoms of COVID-19. Those who show even mild symptoms are further tested. In this way, we can manage the disease,” Mr. Narayanasamy said, when he was asked about the risk of the virus spreading if affected areas were not strictly contained.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.