Mumbai: Admitting that nearly 90 per cent of cases detected from the city in the last two months are from non-slum areas (read residential buildings and high-rises), the BMC has further intensified its containment strategy.
“Those who flout home-quarantine norms will be compulsorily moved to institutional quarantine after an FIR against them,” said an official statement issued by the civic body on Wednesday.
Of the 23,002 new Covid-19 cases reported from across Mumbai in January and February, 90 per cent were from housing societies and the remainder from slums and chawls. Bearing this in mind, containment measures in residential buildings have been intensified by the civic body. Covid-19 guidelines and protocols for residential housing societies will be strictly enforced, the BMC has warned.
In the past few days, the civic ward offices have reported multiple cases of Covid- positive patients flagrantly violating home quarantine rules and venturing out. While there have been FIRs lodged against such violators, the trend has prompted civic officials to adopt stringent measures.
“All housing societies and their office bearers have been alerted and we have appealed to them to keep a close watch on home-isolating Covid patients and their close/ high-risk contacts. If they are found roaming outside, the BMC must be informed immediately. Those who do not have separate rooms and washrooms for Covid-positive patients will not be allowed to home quarantine. The details will be verified by the team of health officials in every ward,” said a senior BMC official.
The official added, “A building with more than five patients will be sealed as a containment area and all movement will be restricted. In buildings with less than five patients, only the floors that have Covid-positive patients will be sealed.”
Elaborating further, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Suresh Kakani said, “Most of the norms in the revised order are the same as earlier, however, the leniency granted in the containment strategies after the number of cases declined will now be withdrawn. People flouting home quarantine will not be spared and will be prosecuted. If residential complexes having multiple buildings or wings have more than five cases scattered in different wings, we are sealing the complex as one containment zone.”
It will be mandatory to trace and conduct Covid tests of all visitors to the affected buildings/ floors like domestic help/ housemaid, milk vendor, newspaper vendors etc. Ward offices have been asked to increase the number of tests. Apart from this, those who have come in contact with Covid-positive patients, even if they have no symptoms, will compulsorily have to get tested on the seventh day from the day they suspect having come in contact with the patient. “There is a surge and we emphasising breaking the chain of the virus by maximising institutional or home quarantine of not just patients but their high risk/ close contacts too,” Kakani said.
As of March 9, 2021, a total of 2,762 floors of housing societies have been sealed across Mumbai, with 4,183 corona patients on these floors. The number of sealed buildings is 229 and there are 25 containment zones.