New Delhi [India], May 18 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all States and Union Territories (UTs) to initiate necessary action in terms of categorisation of red, orange and green zones, and delineation of containment and buffer zones."States may categorize districts/municipal corporations as red/orange/green zones. States may, however, also chose to categorize a sub-division/ward or any other appropriate administrative unit as red/orange/green zone after detailed analysis at their end, duly taking into consideration the geographical spread of cases, contacts and their zone of influence in terms of disease spread," read the letter from Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan to all Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of UT's. The Union Health Secretary further described in the letter, that the parameters such as total active COVID-19 cases, active cases per lakh population, doubling rate calculated over seven days period, case fatality rates and sample positivity rate for the states and UTs, should be taken into consideration while categorising areas into red, orange or green zones. The letter further read, "The most important task, once the zones are identified is field action in terms of implementation of Containment Plan of Action. Guidelines in this regard have already been made available to the states...This entails identification of Containment Zones and Buffer Zones inside red/orange zones, from where cases have been primarily reported."The Central government on Sunday extended the ongoing COVID-19 induced nation-wide lockdown till May 31, but with a set of new relaxations.The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have been issued on the basis of suggestions received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the States on May 11. (ANI)

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