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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Containment zones cross 2k mark in Delhi, most in dense residential colonies

Data also shows that containment zones are home to about a quarter of active cases in every district, ranging from 27.3% in North to 26.02% in the West district, which have 221 and 234 containment zones respectively — among the highest in the city.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Updated: September 25, 2020 1:29:39 pm
covid India, India covid cases, coronavirus India, India coronavirus cases, coronavirus cases India, India covid deaths, Active cases declining, what is R Value, India news, Indian ExpressSanitization in a containment zone at Reghar Pura in New Delhi (Express photo/Praveen Khanna)

Containment zones in Delhi, across districts, are mainly concentrated in certain densely packed residential areas such as Rohini, Pitampura, Dwarka and Burari among others, according to official records.

Data also shows that containment zones are home to about a quarter of active cases in every district, ranging from 27.3% in North to 26.02% in the West district, which have 221 and 234 containment zones respectively — among the highest in the city.

While the total number of containment zones have crossed 2,000 in the capital, in every district there are certain areas where more lanes or buildings have been sealed than others, necessitating a “re-strategising” of the sealing policy by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

For instance, there are around 60 containment zones in Rohini, which is spread across North and North-west districts. In Pitampura, which falls in Northwest, there are close to 30 containment zones, while there are 24 alone in the West district’s Paschim Vihar neighbourhood.

Containment zones in Delhi

A look at the Southwest district, home to 341 containment zones, shows there are nearly 40 such clusters spread across Dwarka and 11 in Uttam Nagar. Burari’s Sant Nagar area, a sprawling packed neighbourhood, has 24 containment zones while Old Delhi’s Sitaram Bazar has 13.

Records reveal the rapid spread of the virus across the city over the last few months, bringing several new neighbourhoods under its sweep. Over 6,000 of the city’s 30,836 active cases, including 18,000 under home isolation, are in containment zones.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain recently said that the Centre should have accepted community transmission of the virus. He said irrespective of the Centre’s stand, there was no doubt that the virus has “spread in the community”.

Meanwhile, out of the total, there are 13 containment zones which were notified in July and one in June — house number 100 to 150 of Block-10 South Delhi’s Dakshinpuri.

The city’s containment zone policy was changed mid-June, when a decision was taken to focus on micro-containment rather than sealing entire neighbourhoods. Since then, district magistrates have been sealing clusters of houses in lanes and independent buildings instead of entire housing societies.

While the DDMA recently decided to review the policy once again, no concrete changes have been brought so far, district officials said, adding that the focus continues to remain on micro-containment. “As against the total active case load, barely a quarter fall in the containment zones. But that will be the situation as it is not practically possible to seal every area throwing up a new case. More than the number of cases in an area, a decision to seal is taken based on the possibility of an outbreak in the larger community,” said a senior official.

The Union Health Ministry guidelines state that the objective of cluster containment is to break the cycle of transmission and decrease the morbidity and mortality due to Covid-19.

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