One of the areas in Tollygunge that was added to the list of containment zones
KOLKATA: The number of containment zones in Kolkata went up further with the addition of 44 new areas on Wednesday to take the figure to 362, up from 318 announced on Monday. South Kolkata, which had Covid-free stretches, is now catching up with cases being reported from Borough 10, covering Sree Colony, Baisnabghata and Netaji Nagar. Fresh cases were also reported from Tollygunge and Haridevpur as Covid-positive cases in the city crossed the 700 mark.
However, six wards under two boroughs have had maximum number of containment zones over the last two weeks. According to a source, six wards — 57 to 66 — have 67 containment zones. They span areas in central and south-east Kolkata, between Taltala and Tangra, covering some of the most densely populated pockets of Entally, Beniapukur, Park Circus, Tiljala and Topsia.
KMC medical officers admitted the range of spread was giving civic and health authorities sleepless nights. “From a nursing hostel in Entally to at least three slums on Canal Road South and Motijheel to an upscale apartment in Tangra, there are Covid patients all through the belt,” said a police officer. “We are facing difficulties with wage earners. With no resources left, they are going out in search of job or food. This desperation brings them closer to contamination risk,” said a KMC official.
Health department data revealed that ward 66 has 14 containment zones, the highest in the city. While ward 60 has 10 containment zones, wards 59 and 65 have seven each.
KMC and police now feel more people need to be quarantined elsewhere. “Too many people live in close proximity. They have to be taken elsewhere and quarantined. Home quarantine is not an option. We are arranging government quarantine centres even as far as Joka. We are setting up mini zonal offices to complete this work,” said an officer.
A two-pronged strategy that worked across Janbazar and in north Kolkata earlier is also being adopted for this zone. First, the civic top brass will take the help of councillors of high-risk zones to tour the neighbourhoods where a section of people are unnecessarily venturing out of their houses. The second strategy is to engage civic volunteers and health workers to reach essentials at the doorsteps of elderly persons and sick people in the high-risk containment zones. Based on their primary report, KMC doctor will devise the next strategy.