In view of the rapid rise in cases across the city, ward officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have decided to track down the travel history of all the newly infected patients.
This comes two days after Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had said that Kumbh Mela returnees will have to undergo institutional quarantine at their own expense. While the BMC is yet to frame a centrally dedicated SOP on this issue, officials maintained that they have aggressively started tracking the travel history.
“We are checking every minute detail like whether they travelled in a public transport or travelled by their private car of any patient that has been tested positive in recent times," said Parag Masurkar, BMC deputy commissioner.
"This is not a new development. It is a common procedure since the pandemic broke out. However, now we are tracing details aggressively as the spread is more infectious in the second wave," said Masurkar.
Another BMC ward official said, keeping in mind that every state has imposed different curbs, it has become important for BMC officials to frame their own rules at the ground level. "There has been no Central announcement on the lockdown yet, which is why we are checking the travel history. We don't know what other states are doing," said another senior civic official.
Earlier, the BMC ward officials of H west (HW) ward which covers Bandra, Khar and Santacruz areas held a video conference meeting with local Advanced Locality Management (ALM) representatives and have asked the members to keep a track on any incoming passengers in their area for one week at least.
"Most of the cases are in high rises. Many residents are returning to Mumbai due to the lockdown," said a civic health official of this ward.
Suresh Kakani, BMC additional commissioner and in-charge of public health in the BMC said that an SOP of quarantining Kumbh returnees will have to be framed by the state government. "As the pilgrims will not only return to Mumbai but also to other parts of Maharashtra. The entire state is now affected with the second wave of covid," Kakani said.
He added that BMC along with other concerned agencies are working towards formulating SOPs to quarantine those who are coming back from other states.
"Reverse migration is also happening at this moment. There are many working in other parts of the state and country, who are returning to Mumbai. We are studying these matters and a final call will be taken by the state government," he said.