The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has released 1,693 sealed buildings and 180 slum areas marked as containment zones in the past 10 days. As per the BMC dashboard, currently there are 3,491 active sealed buildings and 260 slum areas marked as containment zones in Mumbai. On December 8, there were 5,184 active sealed buildings and 440 slum areas marked as active containment zones.
During the first week of December, 35 lakh people, which is approximately 17 per cent of the total population of Mumbai used to live in the sealed buildings and containment zones. While at present 26 lakh Mumbaikars are living in sealed buildings and containment zones, which is 13 per cent of the estimated population Mumbai.
In order to ease lockdown norms, the civic body earlier in September had stated that it would seal a building only if there are 10 or more COVID cases. Civic officials mentioned, at present the recovery rate in Mumbai has increased and the infection rate has also fallen, which is why it’s taking less time for people to recover from the virus, they also maintained that the number of cases reported from buildings have also fallen in past two months.
"If the number of cases in the sealed buildings fall below 10 then BMC officials release these buildings. The recovery rate of Mumbai is around 92 per cent. Most of the patients are asymptomatic,” said Sandeep Sharma, a senior BMC health official.
The BMC is also conducting health camps for contact tracing. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner and ward officer of G North (Dadar, Dharavi and Mahim) had told FPJ that health officials of his ward are testing people at public places like markets and industrial estates. Since the middle of November, the daily caseload in Mumbai has also fallen sharply and there are 7,362 active cases in Mumbai. At present Borivali, Mulund, Andheri (East) and Andheri (West) have the highest number of sealed buildings. Senior civic officials stated, most of the patients infected in the past ten days were the ones who went out to socialise.
"If people would have adhered to norms then more buildings would have been released by mid-December as the infection rate in Mumbai has fallen significantly," Sharma stated.
In the past one week, Mulund, Andheri, Borivali and Kandivali have reported between 40-80 cases each day while the remaining municipal wards have reported between 20-30 cases each day. “Nearly 90 per cent of the freshly infected patients have gone out socialising. Most of them are reluctant to give details fearing social stigma," said a BMC health officer.