With restrictions being gradually eased during Unlock 1 phase, the area of Kolkata’s containment zones is shrinking as the city administration allows more relaxations for the residents.
Earlier an entire campus or an apartment was tagged as a containment zone after any resident tested positive, but with the new rules coming in, only the tower in which the patient resides would be declared a containment zone.
“In case there are multiple patients from the same campus and they reside in different blocks or towers, then the entire campus would be identified as a containment zone,” said Firhad Hakim, chairperson of the board of administrators that presently run the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
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Similar relaxations are also being allowed in slums that would result in containment of pockets therein instead of the entire slum area. Slums have common toilets and water sources.
“Only those households that use the toilet or the water source used by the patient will now be identified as containment zones,” he added.
More than one third of the Covid-19 cases in West Bengal have been reported from Kolkata. While West Bengal has registered a total of 6,876 cases, Kolkata has registered 2,488 of those. Out of 283 deaths caused by Coved-19, 182 have been reported from Kolkata alone.
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The union government has recently stressed that the boundary of containment zones should be based on factors like mapping of cases and contact-tracing of Covid-19 patients and their spread.
Union cabinet secretary had also held a video conference with municipal commissioners and district magistrates of 13 cities including Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in this regard in the last week of May.
“An area will automatically come out of the containment zone marked in red and enter the green zone if no positive case surfaced in two weeks,” said a top official of the KMC.
The union government, however, has made it clear that the resumption of some activities will be done in phases. Enough space has been left for states to tweak the relaxations as per the conditions prevailing in their jurisdictions.
A senior official of the city’s civic body also said that random screening tests – Oximetre tests – would be carried out in Kolkata’s municipal markets.
“Also we have seen that even though the spread of coronavirus in slums has been somewhat contained, over the past few days most of the cases are being reported from apartments, campuses and individual houses,” said Atin Ghosh, a member of the KMC’s board of administrators.