Kolkata has just one Covid-19 containment zone even as it has been registering around 500 cases of the disease daily. Kalimpong, a popular hill station, which has the second-lowest number of Covid-19 cases, has 40 such zones while Nadia has the highest–577–in the state. Jhargram is another district that has just one zone and it has recorded 349 cases, the lowest in the state.
“If multiple cases are recorded from the same neighbourhood in one week, then it is tagged a containment zone. In Kolkata, there is only one such zone. The rest of the cases are more sporadic and coming from various locations,” said a Kolkata Municipal Corporation official.
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In April, the authorities would cordon off an entire area after tagging it a containment zone if any case was reported. In May, the definition was changed and only a particular house or a housing society was tagged as a containment zone if any case was reported. The definition was again changed in July.
“We are following a micro-zonation plan, wherein only those areas from where multiple cases are reported in one week are tagged as containment zones. A few houses in central Kolkata’s Girish Park area have been tagged as a containment zone in Kolkata,” said a health department official.
In mid-July, Kolkata had 39 containment zones, which reduced to 17 in the second last week of August.
The city has reported 45,500 cases, the highest in West Bengal.
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Meena Devi Purohit, a Bharatiya Janata Party councillor, accused the authorities of trying to suppress the Covid-19 figures to present a rosy picture. “Why else would they frequently change the definition of containment zones and reduce the number? What about those areas where people are being tested positive and they do not come under the definition of containment zones?”
Till September 11, West Bengal has registered 1,96,332 Covid-19 cases. As many as 1,69,043 have recovered while 3,828 have died.