New Delhi: Red, orange and green - the colour code for traffic lights will now be used on the country's map to COVID-19 and virus-free zones, and therefore people's movement. After a meeting with at least 13 Chief Ministers yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had indicated that the lockdown will be extended - but there will be relaxations in certain areas and cases to ensure the survival of the economy as well.
This is where the colour coding comes in, some of the participating Chief Ministers, including the Chief Minister of Puduchery, told the media after the meeting.
Green zones will be districts where there is no COVID-19 case. Sources said there are 400 districts, where there have been no COVID-19 cases so far.
Orange zones will be places which saw less than 15 cases and there have been no increase in the number of positive cases. Here, minimum activities like opening of limited public transport, harvesting of farm products will be allowed.
Any place which had more than 15 cases will be considered a Red zone, where there will be no activity.
Underscoring the importance of revival of the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "In my first address I had said, 'Jaan hai to jahaan hai (If there is life, the world will exist)'. We must now look at Jaan bhi, jahaan bhi (life and the world)."
The 21-day nationwide "curfew-like" lockdown, announced in the Prime Minister's first address on March 14, has hit the nation hard.
The World Bank has predicted that India will see growth of just 1.5-2.8 per cent in its current financial year, down from an expected 4.8-5.0 per cent for the year just ended.
The Prime Minister yesterday indicated that that relaxations will be allowed in the infrastructure sector, where lockdown hit the livelihood of thousands of migrant workers. Relaxations are also expected to be in the farm sector - crucial ahead of the harvest season.
The home ministry is also expected to come out with a list of sectors where relaxations are likely to be allowed. This will include food processing, aviation, pharmaceuticals, industries, construction etc. but social distancing will be the norm.
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