Mumbai: High surge in the number of sealed buildings, too

The surge in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in housing societies in the city has been accompanied by a surge in the number of sealed buildings. This is despite the civic body having tweaked the protocol for sealing a building on detection of 10 Covid-19 cases, up from the earlier three, last week.
As on September 22, there were 10,065 active sealed buildings in the city, with 617 active containment zones (chawls and slums), an increase of 3,772 since September 1.
On September 1, there were 6,293 sealed buildings in the city, which increased to 8,637 on September 14 and 9,527 as on September 20.

Effectively, the number of sealed buildings/floors in Mumbai have gone up by 86 per cent in the past 34 days from August 15 to September 20, with the incidence of Covid cases on these premises increasing by 85 per cent in the same period.
However, the number of containment zones (slums and chawls) only showed a minor spike of 0.3 per cent in this period. On September 18, the number of active containment zones were 572, which has now at 617, as on Tuesday.

Until August, there were 2,172 cases in sealed buildings, which had risen to 27,018 by September 3. As on September 22, the number of positive cases in sealed buildings had almost doubled, at 42,772. Meanwhile, 32,822 positive cases were found in 617 containment zones.

This indicates that while the virus spread has been contained in slum pockets and congested areas, it has been proliferating in high-rises and affluent housing communities.

The highest number of sealed buildings -- 1,135 is in R central ward, which covers Borivli and parts of Charkop, followed by 1,010 sealed buildings in R south ward (Kandivli). The lowest number of sealed buildings -- 37 are in E ward (Byculla, Nagpada and Agripada). The highest number of containment zones (chawls and slums) -- 68 are in R north ward (Dahisar), followed by 64 containment zones in S ward (Bhandup).

Last week, the BMC tweaked its protocol for sealing a building, saying a building would be sealed if 10 or more Covid-19 cases were found on the premises. Earlier, the BMC had been sealing an entire building if more than three positive cases were reported, while a floor or a wing was being sealed where less than three cases were reported.

The new BMC protocol rests the onus of ensuring social distancing, banning the entry of outsiders in the sealed area, monitoring the health and ensuring supplies of essential commodities of home-quarantined patients on a residential building’s office-bearers and the local civic authorities.

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