Aggressive contact tracing
Aggressive contact tracing
(Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP)

MUMBAI: The C ward of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is one of the few wards with less CoVID-19 cases. Standing at 53 positive cases, it crossed the 50 mark more than a month after the lockdown, on April 28.

With a population of 1.7 lakh people, it is also a geographically smaller ward that comes under the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), comprising ward numbers 220, 221 and 222.

C ward is one of the major commercial zones in the maximum city. Effective monitoring and aggressive tracing of close contacts have caused the numbers to stay low.

"Our primary agenda is to limit the spread of the virus. As soon as we detect a positive case, we immediately trace the contacts and put them in quarantine.

The aggressive tracing done by civic officials is the reason why the number of positive cases is still under control," said Assistant Municipal Commissioner and in-charge of C ward, Chakrapanni Alle.

"Civic officers and police regularly keep a watch to ensure social distancing is maintained everywhere and we are giving special attention to the containment zones" added Alle. As of April 27, fifty per cent of the detected and suspected patients have recovered and completed their quarantine period.

The C ward has a capacity of quarantining 1,200 people and more than 60 high risk contacts have been kept at institutional quarantine, while around 250 people have been kept under home quarantine. Two fever clinics have also been set up in the ward and more than 820 buildings have been sealed.

However, speaking to Free Press Journal, BJP corporator of C ward 220, Atul Shah said that more than the detection of cases, the biggest challenge for the government is to increase the number of beds in the quarantine facilities of the city. "The number of cases is comparatively low, but they are still rising.

There is a dearth of beds in the isolation facilities and the government needs to increase their numbers at the earliest or else things will get worse," said Shah. He mentioned that he expressed this concern and gave the idea of transforming ground in the city to a Wuhan-like hospital facility in a letter to the chief minister and state health minister, which remained unresponsive.

"I have written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the health minister, but it remained unacknowledged. There is a shortage of beds in city hospitals and often people have complained to me that they need to wait for day and night outside the hospital to get a bed in the facility," added Shah.

In C ward as many as 36 areas were marked by the BMC as containment zones. However, on April 27, 10 areas were released, seeing that there were no cases reported by them. The total number of zones now stands at 26.

BJP C ward 222 Corporator, Rita Makwana says, out of the total 16 cases reported in her constituency, only two people have tested positive, who have no medical or travel history, and the rest of the detected patients either have medical history or have some kind of travel record. Out of sixteen, as many as ten people have completely recovered as of now and six people are under treatment.

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Free Press Journal