Nobody will be allowed to leave their home in Red Zones, which will be closed to people outside
Any area in the country will be designated a Red Zone and go under lockdown if 40 out of 100,000 local residents of that area test positive for Covid-19.
Also, an area having three to 19 cases in every 100,000 of the population will be categorized as “Yellow Zone” and “Green Zones” will be declared in areas with cases fewer than that of Yellow Zones, according to a draft plan of the government.
The draft plan was devised earlier this month to map areas affected by Covid-19 around Bangladesh into zones on the basis of the severity of the pandemic — which has already infected 65,769 people and killed 888 across the country.
As per the plan, different parameters have been set to separate the three zones and avoid arbitrary zoning.
Rajabazar in Dhanmondi, under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), and Wari in Old Dhaka, under Dhaka South City Corporation, were supposed to go into zonal lockdown from Sunday.
But that decision was held back as Monday's cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, may green-light the plan.
However, the Naraynganj district administration on Sunday designated three areas under the city corporation — Amlapara, Jamtola and Fatullah Rupayan Town — as Red Zones and put them under lockdown.
However, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain on Saturday told reporters that areas in Dhaka with 30 Covid-19 cases in every 100,000 of population will be marked as “Red Zones,” reports UNB.
“Outside the capital city, areas with 10 confirmed cases out of 100,000 people will be categorized as Red Zone,” he added.
A virtual inter-ministerial meeting was held to finalize the draft plan and the Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) for city corporations and districts on Saturday.
“Now, the summary of the plan will be sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for approval,” said LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam, who participated in the meeting, told Dhaka Tribune.
“The plan will be implemented as soon as possible, once approved. The government wants to implement it immediately,” he added.
Sources from the meeting said the ICT Division led the drafting of the zoning plan, while DNCC drafted the SOP for urban areas, and Narsingdi District Administration drafted the SOP for districts.
The Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Md Habibur Rahman Khan told UNB that information technicians, health experts and physicians were working to divide the country into the three zones.
Nobody will be allowed to leave their home in Red Zones, which will also be closed to people outside, he said, adding that the deadline of the zoning activities would depend on the experts.
Initially, the plan will be piloted at a ward each of five city corporations that are Covid-19 hotspots and in Narsingdi district. If the pilot program proves successful, the plan will be implemented across the country.
Until Sunday noon, health authorities in Bangladesh recorded 65,769 Covid-19 cases and 888 deaths.