For the first time in months, multiple wards of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have witnessed zero containment zones (CZs) since the pandemic outbreak. According to the dashboard, four BMC wards - H/W (Bandra West), G/S (Elphinstone and Prabhadevi) and B (Dongri) and R/C (Borivli), which had recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases, have been declared free of containment zones.
Civic officials have attributed this to the aggressive Covid-19 strategy in these areas, including mass isolation in slums, sealing of buildings in non-slum areas and managing containment zones (CZs). This was key to the successful management of relaxation in unlock plans announced by the state government from June onwards, officials said.
According to the BMC dashboard, until January 7, there were only 211 CZs in the city as compared to 2,600 in the early months of the pandemic. Moreover, the number of daily Covid cases too dropped below 1,000 in the last three months, leading to a reduction in CZs.
Of the four wards, R/C and G/S wards have a greater number of slumdwellers and the number of corona cases in these wards were high. However, R/C ward topped the charts, reporting 21,379 cases until January 6, with a recovery rate of 94.48 per cent while it was 96 per cent in G/S ward.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said that Worli Koliwada stayed marked as a CZ from the last week of March to mid-November. While the highest number of CZs were marked in April and May, they had over 10 such zones even in June, July and August. “Currently, the ward has a recovery rate of 96 per cent and due to the large population, the CZs were huge, covering most of the population. Worli Koliwada itself had around 40,000 people. The de-containment process was done in a phased manner, when there was a drop in cases,” he said.
However, after lockdown relaxations, the city had begun reporting more cases from high-rise building, which posed a challenge for the civic body, as the former were not following the Covid-19 norms.
“Despite asking everyone to take necessary precautions, residents of high-rises were so resistant and opposed to observing norms. But now, after considerable effort, we have achieved good results and now, have zero containment zones,” said Bhagyashree Kapse, ward officer, R/C ward.