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Delhi: Active cases in most containment zones, curbs to stay post lockdown

Late Thursday night, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev issued an order directing the screening of all residents in containment zones at least three times, “within 14 days of issue of containment notification”.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | May 1, 2020 2:27:45 am
Wait For Food: Migrants wait for food at East Delhi’s Madhu Vihar on Thursday.

With most containment zones continuing to throw up fresh COVID-19 cases, a population of over 5 lakh, and rising, in the national capital is expected to remain under stricter restrictions much beyond May 3, when the second phase of lockdown ends.

Late Thursday night, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev issued an order directing the screening of all residents in containment zones at least three times, “within 14 days of issue of containment notification”. It also states that every person living in those zones “should be made aware of the Aarogya Setu app” and that guidelines issued by the Ministry of Ayush be widely publicised.

Data from four districts, with 38 containment zones shows, that only seven such areas have not registered any fresh case in the last two weeks. As per official guidelines, these areas can be de-sealed only after 28 days from the discharge of the last confirmed case.

The total number of containment zones across all 11 districts stands at 98 currently, housing a population of around 5.25 lakh. The first three containment zones had come up in East Delhi on March 31, of which two have been de-sealed, including one on Thursday. One containment zone in Southeast district’s East of Kailash has also been desealed.

“We had contained Vardhaman Apartments and implemented operation SHIELD to prevent the spread of corona. Since, new cases have not surfaced there over the last four weeks, we are decontaining the area. It was possible due to the cooperation of its residents,” CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

As per data obtained from respective districts, South has 14 containment zones and only one, Hauz Rani, has not registered any new case in over 14 days. Between April 15-28, the number of sealed areas in South grew nearly three-fold — from 5 to 14.

While the Delhi government officially maintains that any area having three or more confirmed cases will be declared a containment zone, there have been cases where neighbourhoods have been sealed even based on suspicions. This is due to several factors, including high population density, which makes preventing an outbreak difficult.

In North district, dotted with eight containment zones, only one, GHI block, Police Colony, Model Town, has not seen any fresh case in the last 14 days, said officials. For the North administration, the outbreak in several blocks of Jahangirpuri and at Azadpur Mandi also remain a major cause of worry. In the district, containment zones doubled between April 14 and April 28.

In East district, out of 10 zones, three — Gali no 9 Pandav Nagar, Mayurdhwaj Apartments and Vardhaman Apartments — have not thrown up a fresh case in over two weeks.

These three areas were sealed between April 2-3. While Vardhaman Apartments was desealed Thursday, the other two are likely to be desealed soon.

Earlier, Mansara Apartment was desealed. A positive aspect that stands out is that the number of red zones rose by only one between April 15-28 in East Delhi.

In Southwest, where the number of containment zones rose from four to six during this period, two areas have not seen any new case in the last 15 days.

Officials of West district, where containment zones nearly doubled to 13 during this period, said barring two places, “no new zone has seen the emergence of new cases from the date of containment”.

Districts for which data was not immediately available include Southeast with 20 zones; Shahdara with seven zones; New Delhi with six zones; Central with seven zones; Northeast with five zones. Northwest district has three zones, but none have crossed the two-week mark yet.

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