To stem the spread of coronavirus, the government is planning to designate areas according to coloured zones - red, yellow and green. Different parameters have been set to separate the three and avoid arbitrary zoning.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain on Saturday revealed that areas with 30 infections per 100,000 of population will be marked as ‘Red Zones’.
A proposal has already been prepared. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take final decision after reviewing the proposal,” he said.
“Outside the capital, areas with ten confirmed cases per 100,000 people will be categorised as Red Zone,” the State Minister told UNB.
For areas that have three to 19 cases per 100,000 of population will be categorised as ‘Yellow Zones’, he said, adding that areas with even fewer cases will be ‘Green Zones’.
“A meeting on Saturday, attended by the Home Minister, Health Minister, LGRD Minister, State Minister for ICT, experts’ team and myself, finalised the proposal with these recommendations,” he added.
The proposal will be sent to the Prime Minister on Sunday, Farhad said.
When asked if the government was planning to announce another ‘general holiday’ as coronavirus cases are spiking, the State Minister said that too depends on the Prime Minister.
Government offices were permitted to keep open on a limited extent only to keep the economic activities running, he added.
Md Habibur Rahman Khan, additional secretary, Health and Family Welfare Ministry, also the chief of Health Ministry’s Media Cell, told UNB that the piloting activities for zoning areas will begin within one or two days in Dhaka city and across the country.
“It will take another week to start the activities fully,” he added.
Information technicians, health experts and physicians have been working on dividing the country into red, yellow and green zones, he said.
Asked about the deadline of the zoning activities, he said it depends on the experts’ team.
Officials of the Information Technology Department, Prime Minister’s A2i Project and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) have been jointly working in categorising the zones.
City corporations and law enforcers have also been assisting the departments, he added.
Asked about the rules and regulations in Red Zones, Habibur Rahman said: “Nobody can get out of home in Red Zones while none from outside will be allowed to enter the zone.”
Earlier on June 1, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government would formulate a plan soon to divide the country into red, green and yellow zones considering the Covid-19 infection rate. He made this disclosure at a meeting of the 'National Technical Advisory Committee to Check Covid-19' at the Secretariat.
Bangladesh has been struggling with coronavirus pandemic for over three months. The country has so far reported 63,026 coronavirus cases and 846 deaths.