COVID-19 in Mumbai: BMC seals Suniel Shetty’s building as residents test positive, says actor and his family safe
BL Soni

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sealed a high-rise in south Mumbai on Monday after a cluster of cases (five) were detected in one of the wings of Prithvi Apartments on Altamount Road, which is also home to Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty.

Five residents tested positive for Covid-19 in the 30-storied building, with 120 flats. A senior BMC official said the actor’s family was not at home.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D ward (Malabar Hill, Nepean Sea Road, Pedder Road) Prashant Gaikwad said, “Suniel Shetty’s entire family is safe”.

While messages stating that the building was sealed after cluster cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 had been detected started circulating, BMC officials said it had yet to be confirmed. “We still do not know that these are cases of the Delta variant. However, as per protocol, after five cases were detected, we sealed the building premises,” an official said.

The civic body seals any building which reports more than five coronavirus cases as a preventive measure. As of July 11, 68 buildings, five chawls and slums have been sealed by the BMC.

The BMC has asked housing societies that were sealed as ‘micro containment zones’ (MCZ) to deny entry to outsiders. It has released a standard operating procedure (SOP) for housing societies and has warned of imposing fines for violating its norms. The civic body has also made provisions to deploy police personnel at the entry gate of sealed buildings.

The civic body has further warned of slapping a fine of Rs 10,000 on a housing society found violating its norms. Repeat violations will attract a penalty of Rs 20,000. Assistant municipal commissioners have been ordered to ensure the strict implementation of norms related to MCZs with help from police.

Delivery personnel from e-commerce platforms and those delivering essentials will be allowed entry to the society management office. Residents of sealed buildings will be allowed to go out in emergencies with the permission of the society chairman, secretary and the police personnel deployed.

“Any asymptomatic positive patient in home isolation shall not move out of his/her flat. An FIR shall be filed by ward officials against violators,” said a BMC official.

Meanwhile, Suniel Shetty took to Twitter to clarify rumours, saying the cases detected in the buildings were not Delta variants and only one of the wings had been sealed, not the entire complex. He said: “Wow, must say the fake news spread quicker than any virus. There is no delta variant in my building society,” the actor tweeted.

The civic body has also sealed nine high-rises in the affluent Malabar Hill and adjoining areas for cluster cases, BMC officials said.

Gaikwad said: “The number of cases reported daily in D ward has shown a decline in the last few weeks. The cases reported daily have declined by 25 per cent, as compared to last week. However, the trend of cases reported continue to remain the same, with over 90 per cent of cases reported being from high rises while less than 10 per cent of cases are from slums.”

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