Coronavirus – Health and Governance Issues

What are Containment Zones?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Containment Zones

Mains level: Lockdown restrictions for COVID containment

In the current pandemic, all interventions are primarily geared towards reducing people-to-people contact, and thus breaking the chain of transmission to the extent possible. The demarcation of containment zones, which works at a more micro level, is likely to remain as long as the disease is spreading.

Practice question for mains:

Q.Discuss how the preemptive lockdowns imposed during earlier phases of coronavirus pandemic has led to reduced casualties in India.

What are Containment Zones?

  • The lockdown, implemented in five phases, worked at the national level, while the classification of red, orange and green districts operated at the state and inter-district levels.
  • Demarcation of containment zones is done within a town, village, or municipal or panchayat area.
  • Neighbourhoods, colonies, or housing societies where infected people live are sealed, and access is restricted.
  • Containment zones are where the restrictions on movement and interaction are the most severe.
  • In many cities, the entire demarcated area is barricaded and the entry and exit points closed. Only the very basic supplies and services are allowed inside.

Who defines the containment zones?

  • It is the district, town or panchayat authorities that decide which areas have to be marked as containment zones, how large they would be, and what kind of restrictions would apply.
  • The rules for the national lockdown, for example, were set by the central government, while the state governments decided what restrictions to impose on districts.
  • The district administration, Municipal Corporation or panchayat bodies exercise a great deal of discretion in the demarcation of containment zones.
  • The definition and time period vary and are continuously reviewed and updated.

How are they demarcated?

  • The parameters used are similar, but the exact criteria applied to vary, and usually depends on local conditions. These have also evolved with time, and are under constant review.
  • In general, containment zones are getting smaller with time as the number of cases is increasing — from entire localities to colonies or neighbourhood, to streets and lanes, to particular buildings, and now just particular floors.
  • As of now, in Delhi, a containment zone is declared if three or more infections are detected.
  • The perimeter of the containment zone is also different in different cities.

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