NEW DELHI: There is no green zone in Delhi. Nine out of 11 districts in the capital are red zones, which means they have a high Covid-19 load, according to the Union health ministry, while two others qualify as orange zones, which means they are getting two to three cases daily.
A district is considered to be a green zone if it is unaffected by Covid-19. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, who held a meeting on Tuesday to review the situation in Delhi, voiced his concern.
“When I see Delhi’s Covid-19 map, I see only red and orange colours, which is extremely worrying,” he said. Delhi is the third-most-affected state in the country after Maharashtra and Gujarat.
“Delay in testing results is the biggest challenge we are facing. It is taking more than a week for the labs to send results, which is affec ting containment measures,” said a Delhi official at the meeting. A district categorised as a red zone is moved to orange if it doesn’t see a single new case for 14 days and green if there are no cases for another 14 days.
Budhlani was ultimately allowed to go across. “I am grateful they heard me out and let me enter, though on the condition that I wouldn’t return to Delhi,” he said. Hundreds of others weren’t so lucky. The cops yelled, “Aapne news nahi dekhi? Jao wapis.”
And cars and motorcycles making an about-turn began driving into the flow of traffic, creating a big mess. The commuters’ exasperation was understandable because there was a constant verification even then by Haryana Police and DSRAF and it took longer to exit the area. Harbeer and Sunil Kumar, operation theatre technicians at AIIMS, didn’t have Budhlani’s luck.
After a patient wait, they were turned away from the border. “We are doing vital work during this lockdown,” sighed Harbeer. “We can’t afford to deal with this situation every day. And we need to go home too, don’t we? Police say we need to apply for a pass. Now we have to find someone to stay with in Delhi.” Police officer at the barricades claimed to TOI that ample warnings had been given for two days that entry into Faridabad would be stopped. But most commuters swore there had been no action before Tuesday.
“We are following instructions as given by our home minister. Only movement of essential goods will be allowed,” explained Sube Singh, PRO, Faridabad Police. “All these are being done to ensure Faridabad does not become a Covid-19 red zone.” Delhi health department employees and Delhi Police personnel were badly affected.
A nurse was reduced to tears after being rudely told off by a woman Haryana Police officer. Praveen Sahay, who works in the CGHS dispensary in Sarita Vihar and resides at Greenfields colony in Faridabad, said in a disappointed tone, all the more because his pass was not recognised by the police, “I am a medical worker and they asked me to return to Delhi. Every day we are fighting the coronavirus and they treat us like this.”
A senior Delhi government functionary indignantly declared, “This action of Haryana is against the guidelines of the Centre. The high number of corona cases in Delhi is not of its own doing. It is because big groups of Indians were brought home from abroad in February and March. They might have belonged to different states, but Delhi took care of them.”
The official added that the authorities across the border should understand that both Haryana and Delhi were part of India. “Haryana’s attitude is against the spirit of India. It is against PM Narendra Modi’s endeavour to take the whole country along during the pandemic,” he bristled.
Meanwhile, the municipal corporations and Delhi Police are making temporary lodging arrangements for employees who live in Haryana. While south corporation has set up two such centres, Delhi Police has booked hotel rooms for its personnel.