In south Kolkata, Bhowanipore has four containment zones. All of them are complexes. All four containment zones in Alipore, too, are complexes.
Cops said several more complexes, which are not in the containment list now, have reported fresh Covid cases.
“At least two complexes, one in Jodhpur Park and another in Ballygunge, have reported fresh infections after they allowed domestic helps and support staff to their homes. These support staff usually came from local neighbourhoods, which had some Covid cases,” said a KMC health department officer.
Police and KMC believe that the reason for the rise has everything to do with the unlockdown period. “Complexes that were initially keeping their premises locked up, have now let their guard down, with many allowing visitors and house help,” said an officer.
“An entire complex in Bhowanipore is now under containment after six of its inhabitants in the servant quarters developed Covid,” said a south-division officer.
Also, with offices resuming, many residents are travelling to work every day. Residents are also getting out for non-essential activities, officials said, pointing to the huge rush at markets on both Friday and again on Sunday.
KMC and police said Kolkata’s problem is not unique. Across cities, the trend is the same. Sources pointed out last month in Mumbai, the number of new Covid-19 cases being reported from residential buildings and high-rises had seen 108% increase, while slums and other congested areas have reported 60% jump, the Mumbai civic body reported recently. In Delhi, a huge percentage of containment zones are apartments.
The bigger complexes have already introduced multiple steps realizing the needs of the day. At South City, e-commerce delivery personnel and those delivering food were allowed inside only after their temperature was checked. Even then, they could go till the reception area.
“Residents were asked to collect their belongings from the reception later. Residents with medical emergencies and in the medical profession had no restriction on movements,” said Manak Daga, president of the residents’ association.
Many complexes had also asked their facility management staff to stay back on the campuses. Residents are pooling in funds for the additional cost.Both KMC and police have drawn up timetables, which they are following each day to reach maximum apartments, especially those in the containment zones.
(With inputs from Tamaghna Banerjee)