Kolkata: Fifty-one more localities across the city have had to be barricaded over the past week. With these additions, the containment-zone count has shot up to 318, an increase of nearly 20% in a week. Kolkata is among 20 districts in the country where the situation has been identified as grave.
Much like Mumbai and Chennai, Kolkata accounts for a lion’s share of Covid-positive cases reported in the state followed by Howrah and North 24 Parganas. While Bengal registered 1,259 cases till Monday evening, Kolkata accounted for 659, including 24 reported on Monday.
Alarmed by the virus spilling out of containment zones, police and civic authorities in Kolkata and Howrah have adopted a new model of random tests in hotspots. In Howrah’s Golabari, swab samples were collected from around 100 residents on Monday. KMC will also start four swab-collection centres in the worst-hit areas to help the health department conduct rapid tests over the next couple of weeks.
At an urgently convened meeting by mayor Firhad Hakim on Monday, 40 containment zones, including Belgachhia, Burrabazar, Jorasanko, Jorabagan, Amherst Street, Bowbazar, Entally, Park Circus, Taltala, Tiljala, Topsia, Kasba-Ballygunge, Metiabruz, Garden Reach and areas off EM Bypass, were identified as particularly threatening with multiple cases being reported over the past 10 days. Deputy mayor Atin Ghosh and physician and state Covid-19 panel member Abhijit Chowdhury were present at the meeting.
The police top brass also held extensive meetings on Monday. The third phase of the lockdown will be more challenging compared to the last two since there will be more economic activity and increased vehicular movement. “Many containment zones are also business hubs and others serve as thoroughfares for many whose offices opened up on Monday. Establishing access control at all these places will be our priority,” said an officer.
Special CP Jawed Shamim said each zone would be evaluated individually. Sources said double barricading certain lanes linked to main roads will be done by midnight on Monday. Lalbazar is also likely to ask the reserve force and armed police — along with special branch and SCO — to help local cops.
Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation authorities are also worried over the number of cases being reported from Salt Lake, particularly from blocks in Sector III. With two more containment zones in the township, citizens expressed concern over the virus spread.
The road beside Mizoram House in IB Block was barricaded on Saturday after two guests were hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms. One died after testing positive.
The Times of India News App for Latest City News
Start Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper! Order Now