Mumbai: The BMC late on Sunday night sealed the Koliwada and Janata Colony areas in Worli and declared them a ‘contaminated zone’ after four residents tested positive for coronavirus.
The news of the four cases surfacing in the two neighbouring localities has rattled the residents of upmarket Worli. Koliwada -- home to a vast fishing community -- and Janata Colony are congested localities, where residents live cheek by jowl and the threat of contamination gets exacerbated.
Policemen deployed in the area have been using a public address system to make announcements and allay concerns, besides informing residents about the BMC’s disinfection and fumigation operations.
According to the civic body, what is of serious concern is that none of the four victims has any foreign travel history, nor do they have any known contact with a Covid-19 positive person. Officials confirmed that all four victims are above 50 years of age.
“One of those infected used to work as a cook at a PSU in Trombay. So, we are asking them to get their staff tested and screened,” Sharad Ughade, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G (South) ward, told The Free Press Journal.
He added, "The three others work in the same area and don’t travel much. All four are clueless about where they contracted the virus from, as they do not recall meeting or getting in touch with anybody who has returned from any affected foreign country or with anyone suffering from the disease."
The colony is densely packed with ground-plus-one or two-storey buildings, where most residents use community or public toilets. Most of these residents are fisherfolk who live and work here.
Meanwhile, in R (North) ward, a building in Shailendra Nagar and a housing society in Ambewadi, both in Dahisar, were sealed on Monday, after two residents tested positive in the former and one in the latter. None of the three has any travel history to affected countries or contact with a coronavirus infected person, BMC officials said.
"We are trying to trace the close contacts of all three patients. In the case of the Shailendra Nagar building, one of the victims had a fractured hand and had visited a local hospital for dressing. It is likely that he might have contracted the virus from there. We are still ascertaining the same," said Sandhya Nandedkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R (North) ward.
The BMC is now concerned about those who are not taking the lockdown and social distancing seriously. “We will make the lockdown more stringent. Despite reminders and appeals, people are not adhering to social distancing norms and are still coming out of their houses. We are already carrying out disinfection and fumigation operations in the Koliwada and Janata colony and have resorted to heavy police bandobast to ensure people stay within their houses. If people won't abide by the lockdown, the virus will spread and find more hosts,” added Ughade.