New Delhi: The Centre on Friday apprised states about the new guidelines for monitoring and classification of hotspots or containment zones worst affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - COVID-19: 'Delhi Won't Stop Clinical Trials of Plasma Therapy', Says CM Kejriwal

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states and UTs, Union Health Ministry Secretary Preeti Sudan said, “It is important to ensure that we identify pockets of critical interventions for a focused management of COVID -19 at the field level”. Also Read - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata And Bengaluru Headed For Lockdown Extension Beyond May 3?

She said the districts were earlier designated as hotspots/red-zones, orange zones and green zones primarily based on cumulative cases reported and the doubling rate. Also Read - As COVID-19 Cases Cross 3,500-mark, Delhi Govt Tightens Measures to Control Spread | Read Here

“Since recovery rates have gone up, the districts are now being designated across various zones duly broad-basing the criteria. This classification is multi-factorial and takes into consideration incidence of cases, doubling rate, extent of testing and surveillance feedback to classify the districts,” Sudan said in her letter.

A district will be considered under green zone if there has been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far or there is no reported case since last 21 days in the district, according to the letter.

Till now any red or orange zone districts could become a green zone if no fresh case of coronavirus was reported for 28 and 14 consecutive days respectively.

“It is further highlighted that based on field feedback and additional analysis at the state level, states may designate additional red or orange zones as appropriate. However, states may not relax the zonal classification of districts classified as communicated by the Ministry.”

Further, the list can be revised weekly and states can add additional red and orange zones, the instructions read. However, states have not been allowed to relax the classification.

(With inputs)