North-south gap in Kolkata containment zones – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Thirty-eight wards in Kolkata, most of them in the southern part of the city, are yet to report any Covid-19 cases. The only areas in north Kolkata where the virus hasn’t been detected yet are wards 2 (Sinthee) and 16 (Paikpara). In south Kolkata, two major pockets that are still relatively safe are Jadavpur and Behala.
The remaining 106 wards, comprising almost two-thirds of the city, now house 318 containment zones. Among the new containment, zones are slums in Cossipore in the north to Panchanantala near Golpark in the south. Palm Avenue in Karaya close to former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s residence, Jorasanko traffic guard and a private hospital in Dhakuria are among new entrants to the list.

Of the 144 wards in Kolkata, the situation is of particular concern in 19 wards that have five or more containment zones. But there are also 58 other wards that have only one or two containment zones.The worst-hit ward though is not in north Kolkata. Ward 66 that encompasses Tiljala Road and Picnic Garden has 14 containment zones. But overall, it is north Kolkata wards in boroughs 1 to 6 that are of concern while wards in boroughs 10, 14 and 16 have the least number of containment zones.
Wards 2 and 16, the Covidfree islands in north Kolkata, are the only wards from 1 to 70 that stretches between north, central and southeast Kolkata that do not have a single reported case. Ward 1 that covers Cossipore and Tala, number 3 covering Belgachia, 8 (Jorabagan) and 24 (Burtolla) are the biggest headache in the north along with Ward 29 that covers Narkeldanga. Wards 40 and 50 covering College Street, Surya Sen Street, Amherst Street, Koley Market and Sealdah, too, have multiple containment zones. Taltala, Entally and Beniapukur account for 22 containment zones.
In south-east Kolkata, areas in Karaya, Tiljala and Tangra in wards 57 to 66 have close to 50 containment zones within them. Police and KMC officials say an intensified door-to-door containment plan is needed for these localities that have high population density and house a number of slums.
In the south, Bhowanipore, Gariahat and Ballygunge have reported a few cases along with Mudiali and Chetla. But large parts of south Kolkata, including the stretch between Kalighat and Garia and another between Garfa and Jadavpur, have reported few stray cases. Added areas of Naktala, Behala and Haridevpur, too, have reported few cases. Apart from Topsia-Tiljala-Picnic Garden, the other major areas of concern in south Kolkata are Anandapur and Mukundapur, pockets off EM Bypass.
A KMC official warned that Rabindra Sarani with nine additional containment zones across two wards could emerge as a headache. “In Burrabazar, six more spots across three wards have been included in the new containment list. So does Beniapukur in Ward 60 that now has five more containment zones. These are areas where the rate of spread needs to be slowed down since the disease has spread despite creating containment zones,” he explained.
Police said they are in talks with KMC to create buffer zones. “This will mean that those areas lying directly next to containment zones will have to strictly follow certain lockdown rules that are applicable to the containment zones. One of them is to stop the access of markets beyond specified hours,” said an officer.
KMC officials said longer containment measures are necessary to stop the spread of the disease to new zones. In the past 10 days, 50 new containment zones have been created in Kolkata following reports of fresh cases. A KMC team is keeping a watch on some areas in the south which have so far remained safe from the virus attack.
“We are keeping a close vigil on some areas which have so far been remained out of bounds of the coronavirus attack. We can’t let these areas get infected,” said the KMC official.