With the number of positive COVID-19 cases soaring at Bapu Dham Colony with each passing day, the Chandigarh administration on Thursday sealed the entire colony that houses about 60,000 people. Till now, 76 cases have been reported from the colony, which has emerged as a hotspot. Officials said that the area apart from the containment zone marked in the colony, has been identified as a buffer zone and will be subject to strict perimeter control. Earlier, only a part of the colony was marked as containment zone.
UT Adviser Manoj Parida said that no one will be allowed to enter or leave the colony, except the government employees, municipal employees and essential service providers, who are on duty. He added that government officials, who are reside in the colony, will not be allowed to leave the area.
Orders issued by Parida stated that Health Services Director will ensure extensive screening and medical testing of the suspected cases in the area.
Till now, 62 persons of Bapu Dham Colony, who were immediate contacts of COVID-19 patients, have been shifted to a quarantine centre in Sector 47 of Chandigarh. All of them have tested negative however, they have been residing at the facility because of the congested houses in Bapu Dham Colony.
The administration also decided to stop the delivery of cooked food at Bapu Dham Colony. “With the distribution of cooked food there are increased chances of infection, so we have decided to provide only dry ration for free for the time being,” said adviser Manoj Parida.
As a majority of factory workers and vendors reside at Bapu Dham Colony, the spike of COVID-19 cases here is also resulting in a shortage of vendors or workforce in the city. Thursday morning, the city’s industrialists were also directed not to employ workers from Bapu Dham Colony.
While the area was sealed on account of the increasing COVID-19 cases, social media posts about Bapu Dham residents flouting social distancing norms also triggered the decision. The social media was flooded with pictures of Bapu Dham Colony, making claims that the area did not record any police patrolling and groups of people had been roaming on the streets. Officials said, a key challenge that is being faced by them in the colony is that the excessively small dwelling units accommodates at least ten people of a family.
Distancing norms flouted in Hallomajra
With pictures as evidence, residents have complained that social distancing norms are being flouted in Hallomajra. Councillor Mahesh also urged the administration to look into the matter. The pictures showed that shops were not following odd-even strategy and crowd had been gathering in the area without any check.
Hardware, electrical shops shut
UT administration on Thursday directed to shut the hardware and electrical materials shops in the industrial area as crowd gathered outside the shops and social distancing norms were not being followed.
14 new cases in UT, 10 from Bapu Dham
Fourteen more residents from the city test positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the total tally in the city up to 138. Out of the fourteen, ten are from the hotspot and containment zone of Bapu Dham Colony, and from sector 30 B, which is also a hotspot for COVID 19 cases in the city.
The ten new cases from Bapu Dham Colony include a six-year-old boy who is contact of an already diagnosed COVID 19 case. The boy further has eight more family contacts who have been traced and sampled for testing. Three members of the same family from the colony aslo tested positive who were contacts of a positive case. Apart from this a 36-year-old woman tested positive for the disease from the colony.
Later in the evening, five more cases cropped up from the same locality, including three from the same family who are community contacts of another patient. Two more people from the locality, including a security guard from Panjab University tested positive for COVID 19. The security guard was contractually employed and all his contacts from the university and family members have also been traced and quarantined.
From sector 30, a twelve-year-old girl tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The girl was a contact of a positive patient who resided in the same household as her. Till now, 1845 people have been tested for COVID 19 from the city, out of which the test results of 11 sampled on Thursday are awaited. A total of sixty patients were sampled in the city today.
One more discharged from PGIMER
Meanwhile, another patient recovered and was discharged from PGIMER on Thursday. The patient was a 30-year-old contractual employee at PGIMER, who was working in the advanced pediatric center as a cook before he tested positive for the disease. Out of the 135 total cases, until now 21 have been discharged and one has passed away, leaving 113 active cases in the city. — Express News Service
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