Sticking to its strategy of declaring small containment zones, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has declared nearly 100 micro-containment zones across the city, most of them buildings and cooperative housing societies.
The maximum number of micro-containment zones is in Aundh-Baner ward office area, with 21 buildings declared as containment zones. “The number of micro-containment zones change every day based on the situation. However, we are following the PMC guidelines on declaring micro-containment zones,” said Jaydeep Pawar, assistant municipal commissioner of Aundh-Baner ward office area.
Ganesh Sonune, assistant municipal commissioner of Bibewadi ward office and in-charge of the civic Disaster Management Cell, said this time, more cases are being reported from buildings or housing societies, not slum areas. “Slum areas have been reporting fewer infections…,” he said.
The civic officer in charge of another ward office said, “It is likely that residents of slums are getting infected with coronavirus but their suffering in the earlier phases have made them avoid testing and treatment. They are not coming forward to get tested as they were badly hit by the lockdown, which affected their income…”.
The PMC has decentralised the process of declaring a micro-containment zone and directed ward offices to declare a building with at least five active cases, and housing societies or localities with at least 20 active cases as micro-containment zones.
The Dhole Patil Road ward office area, the worst affected zone in the initial phases of the pandemic, has till now not seen a surge in cases as seen in other ward office areas. “There was only one building that was declared as a micro-containment zone, which too has been removed. The patient profiles… do not fit into the criteria of declaring micro-containment zones,” said Dayanand Sonkamble, assistant municipal commissioner of Dhole Patil Road ward office.
However, the industrial unit in the jurisdiction is being closely tracked as some of its employees have tested positive for the viral infection. “We have collected samples of 80 employees of a company in Koregaon Park area and are awaiting the reports before deciding on declaring a containment zone,” said Sonkamble.
After identifying the micro-containment zones in their areas, civic ward offices put up display boards outside the buildings or housing societies so that no outsiders enter the premises. The other residents of the building or housing society are given instructions to be followed to ensure there is no further spread in the vicinity.
While the year started on a note of hope for the PMC – with no containment zones in Pune on January 1 – the civic body had to reintroduce its strategy of declaring micro-containment zones on March 1 with focus on smaller areas.