Bapu Dham Colony, which is rapidly imitating trends of Mumbai’s Dharavi, lone accounts for over 50 per cent of cases reported in Chandigarh, which is 85 out of the total 146 COVID-19 cases in the UT. Experts say that if the entire Bapu Dham Colony was sealed on the day its first COVID-19 case was reported, the virus spread in the other parts of the city would not have happened at such a high rate.
Data analysed by The Indian Express showed that the first case was reported on April 24 and despite knowing that the first patient interacted with several people, the administration did not seal before the passing of 14 days. The delay cost the city dearly, with cases increasing every day.
After the first case, the administration had said that the patient will be booked as he had interacted with several people, however, no measures were taken to seal the colony and only a part of the colony was sealed. On April 26, at least six more positive cases emerged from the contacts of the first patient. The colony has been continuously reporting positive cases. On April 30, the highest spike of twelve positive cases from Bapu Dham Colony were reported and pictures of residents flouting social distancing norm did rounds, however, even then, the administration did not decide to seal the entire area. On May 5, another spike of 10 positive cases were reported from the colony.
On Friday, seven more positive cases from Bapu Dham were reported and a case reported from Sector 27-B also had links with a driver who resides in Bapu Dham. With the situation seemingly going out of control, Administrator VP Singh Badnore directed the Director Principal GMCH to ready the Sector 48 hospital to accommodate new cases.
FOSWAC Chairman, Baljinder Singh Bittu said, the administration’s slow action in sealing the area led to the increased spread. “It is a big administrative flaw. We had urged Finance Secretary too that residents be stopped from working in other areas,” he said.
President of Chandigarh Industrial Association MPS Chawla said, curfew should have been imposed after the first day itself. The Industrialists had also raised the issue with the administration that labourers from Bapu Dham were reporting to work. Only on Thursday, there were orders to seal the entire colony.
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