NEW DELHI: The government is likely ask states to seal more Covid-19 hotspots in various districts across the country to stamp out the risk of infection transmission and flatten the curve amid rising number of cases in the last few days with measures announced in Delhi and UP signalling the pattern.
The decision is intended to ensure small islands of the disease are swiftly contained and do not undo the larger gains of the national lockdown. The UP government said the measures were intended to ensure that low cases in some areas, even within districts, were not jeopardised by hotspots. The decision to go in for intensive lockdowns was taken by the government after it received technical inputs from experts monitoring incidence of the disease.
On Wednesday, the Uttar Pradesh government sealed around 103 hotspots in 15 districts that reported more than six cases. Except for people who have been issued special passes, nobody will be allowed to come out of their houses in these areas and fire tenders will spray sanitiser in all tehsils and districts of the state.
The decision in 20 hotspots in Delhi also came after consultation with the Centre. “Similar actions will be taken to seal various other hotspots in the country, including those in Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan,” a senior official said.
Sources said the move was aimed to ensure that the chain of transmission was broken and there were minimal chances of the infection spreading further. Besides, sealing of hotspots will also help ensure the gains made by social distancing and lockdown are not lost.
On Tuesday, the health ministry had cited a study suggesting one person infected with coronavirus could possibly infect 406 others in just 30 days in the absence of a lockdown and social distancing measures, but this could dramatically come down to 2.5 people with a 75% reduction in social exposure.
The government has also said that lockdown and stringent social distancing measures undertaken in various districts of UP like Gautam Budh Nagar and Agra have started showing results and steps were needed to ensure these gains were not lost.
Officials maintained that minus the cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat, India was witnessing a decline in rate of growth in new cases. However, since infected members of the Islamic congregation dispersed to several parts of the country, the number of positive cases surged suddenly, hurting the impact of the lockdown.
The government has so far identified over 25,500 members of Tablighi Jamaat and their contacts who have been quarantined.