Only essential services and goods will be allowed in containment zones at least till June 30, the centre said on Saturday in its Lockdown5 guidelines. Its order allowed several activities in low risk-coronavirus areas, including opening of malls, religious places and restaurants from June 8, but none for containment zones.
States will be allowed to mark their own containment zones based on the number of coronavirus cases, it said.
"Containment zones will be demarcated by district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Health Ministry. In containment zones, only essential activities will be allowed," the
government's notification read.
What is a containment zone?
Areas that are notified by the authorities as high-risk zones, where the number of coronavirus cases is high, are called containment zones. The civic bodies decide which area qualifies to be listed as a containment zone. The basic idea behind such a demarcation is to limit the virus in an enclosed space to prevent its spread in other areas.
What activities are allowed in a containment zone?
Only essential services like groceries, medical supply, water supply etc are allowed in containment zones. Authorities ban movement inside such areas; they also block entry and exit points so that infected people can't spread the virus. West Bengal capital Kolkata has more than 280 such zones; Delhi has 122, whereas Mumbai, the worst coronavirus-hit city has over 660 areas listed as containment zones.
Movement in containment zones will be monitored to ensure that nobody leaves or visits, except for medical emergencies and the supply of essential goods and services, the centre today said in its guidelines, adding containment zones will also see intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance and other clinical interventions, as required.
States and Union Territories have also been asked to identify buffer zones outside containment zones. These refer to areas the virus could spread. Restrictions within buffer zones will be decided on by district authorities, the Home Ministry said.