Lockdown should be limited to only those areas that have seen a spread of the virus, referred to as 'containment areas or red zones', Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference meeting on Saturday morning. The four hour meeting saw the Chief Ministers of all states put forth their suggestions on extending the 21-day nationwide lockdown. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said that out of 676 mandals in the state only 81 mandals have reported the coronavirus disease.
Speaking to the Prime Minister, Jagan said that his government had done a data analysis on the coronavirus cases being reported in Andhra Pradesh. "We were doing some data analysis and gathered some interesting facts," said Jagan who added that Andhra Pradesh had classified 37 mandals as red zones and 44 mandals as orange zones. The state has further classified the coronavirus cases into 141 clusters, " The balance of 595 mandals are green zones, they have practically not been affected," he added.
The Chief Minister said considering only 81 mandals are affected in his state, his suggestion was that lockdown should be limited to just these areas.
"In my opinion, lockdown should be limited to the red zones, while the restrictions can be continued at places of public gathering, malls, cinema halls, places of worship, public transport and schools. We should also continue with physical distancing measures at all other places," said Jagan during his presentation in the meeting.
The Chief Minister expressed his support to the efforts by the Centre in fighting the pandemic and called for all the states to work as a unit. "This war can only be won if we work as a unit. Whatever strategy you (PM Modi) suggest, we will go with it and make your strategy a success," added Jagan.
Sources in the Centre however told TNM that the lockdown will continue for two weeks, but with relaxations including on running industries and allowing inter-district travel in places that have seen no spread of the disease.
As of Saturday noon, Andhra Pradesh has witnessed a total of 381 COVID-19 positive cases and 10 persons recovering from the disease and 6 deaths.