KOLKATA: In an indication that the rampant spread of the novel coronavirus could, at least for the time being, be arrested to some extent, the Kolkata Municipal corporation has earmarked only one area in the city as a containment zone. In its latest update and the first one this month, the civic officials dropped all the earlier seven “hot spots” across Beliaghata, Barisha, Amherst Street and Chetla from the list and tagged only Umesh Dutta Lane in central Kolkata’s Girish Park, a new entrant.
Umesh Dutta Lane initially reported six Covid cases, though the number of active cases has decreased. Cops from Burtolla and Girish Park police stations pointed out they had specific reasons for keeping the zone under check despite the low number. “People from the adjoining slum on Ramesh Dutta Lane and the trading hub of Lohapatti would often move into the containment zone. But more dangerously, the family members of those in home isolation tried to sneak into either Beadon Street or Lohapatti. The area, which is close to Minerva, is also a busy segment. It won’t be possible to check the virus spread without setting up a containment zone,” said a police officer. KMC executive health officials also insisted on a containment zone tag after spot visits. Police said KMC officials told them they were not ready to take any chance. For the first time, no flat or housing complex is on the list, the lone zone being a mixture of houses and shops.
For a city that had started with 18 containment zones about two-and-a-half months ago and reached 31 in July, Bhowanipore, Ballygunge and Alipore in the south and Beliaghata-Kankurgachi in north were a tough challenge. “Not only have we decreased the numbers, we have stopped its spread, too,” said a senior IPS officer at Lalbazar.