In the Center's new list, 18% of districts are still in the red zone, but 43% in green and 39% in orange.

NEW DELHI: The Center has formulated a new list that classifies 733 districts across the country as 130 red zones, 284 orange zones, and 319 green zones to implement its Covid-19 containment strategy and enforce the third phase of closure as of May 4th.

The data shows that 17.7% of the 733 districts are still in the red zone and 38.7% in orange with a significant 43.5% in the green zone.

However, all major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Kolkata, remain in the red zone.

The list comes along with new guidelines for monitoring containment and buffer zones with stricter measures like house-to-house surveillance and improved testing, in addition to considering the actual number of cases and their doubling time.

The health ministry has written to all states asking them to delimit containment areas and restrict movement.

A district will now qualify as a green zone if there are no confirmed cases to date or if no cases have been reported in the last 21 days, according to the new order from the health ministry. So far, a district classified as a green zone if there were no reported cases for 28 days.

Districts were previously designated as critical zones or red zones, orange zones, and green zones, primarily based on reported cumulative cases and the doubling rate.

According to the health ministry, since the recovery rate has increased, districts are now designated in various areas on a broad-based basis.

This classification is multi-factorial and takes into account the incidence of cases, the rate of duplication, the scope of tests and surveillance comments, health secretary Preeti Sudan wrote Thursday to the state's top secretaries.

As of April 30, there were 129 districts in the red zone, 297 in orange, and 307 in the green zone.

The new government assessment shows that 12 new districts have been classified as a green zone. While the number of districts in the red zone has remained largely unchanged, those identified as orange zones with no new cases in 14 days have dropped from 297 to 284, primarily because many have moved to the green zone.

Under the new guidelines, the Center has asked states to create buffer zones around containment areas as a security measure to eliminate any chance of the virus spreading. The Secretary of Health has asked all states to report and report the containment areas and buffer zones in the identified districts of the red and orange zones.

The containment zone is the central area and the buffer zone is the area beyond the containment zone. The containment zone will require stricter measures such as house-to-house surveillance, said joint secretary of the health ministry Lav Agarwal.

While the list will be reviewed weekly, states will not be allowed to relax the zonal classification of districts classified as red and orange zones. However, states can designate additional red and orange zones.

According to the Center's list, UP has the largest number of districts in the red zone: 19, followed by Maharashtra with 14. While it has 12, the 11 districts of Delhi are in the red zone. it has 10 while Andhra Pradesh and they have five districts each in the red zone.