Coronavirus outbreak: Worli Koliwada residents agree to go into isolation

Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 07:39 IST | Vishal Singh, Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

At least 108 people in contact with the 10 COVID-19 positive patients will be isolated at Podar hospital, 86 have been convinced so far

Sanitisation taking place at Tardeo. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Sanitisation taking place at Tardeo. Pic/Bipin Kokate

At least 10 cases of people who tested positive for COVID-19 have been reported till Wednesday in Worli Koliwada. A total of 108 people who came in contact with the patients there have been identified, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai police are facing the difficult task of convincing them to go to an isolation ward. While 86 people were convinced, they were taken to the ward at M A Podar Hospital at Worli.

"The entire area has been sealed so that the infection does not spread. After finding these patients, we made a list which included those who were in contact with them. These included the people in the patient's house, neighbours and people who used to meet the patient," said a BMC official.

The BMC and the Dadar police (Koliwada is in their jurisdiction), on Wednesday shifted some people whose names are in the list, to Podar hospital. The BMC has created an isolation ward at Podar hospital.

But according to sources, many people refused to go to the isolation ward. They were convinced to do so by the police and BMC officials.

Convinced by BMC, police
Local Corporator Hemangi Worlikar told mid-day, "They were explained that for their safety it was necessary to keep them in the isolation ward. Late on Wednesday we managed to convince 86 people and took them there in buses. We are trying to convince the others."

According to BMC sources, if the people are kept in the isolation ward, they will be looked after for 24 hours.

An officer from the Dadar police station said, "We convinced many people on the list that they must go to the isolation wards."

Around 150 cops and additional BMC officials have been deployed at the spot. In case of deliveries, residents are asked to come to the boundary lines and collect the items. Two chemists shops were allowed to function Wednesday to ensure that the area gets its supply of medicines.

Sealing lacks uniformity
As the number of positive and quarantined people increased sharply in the past three days, more areas have been sealed across the city. But the decision has been taken at the ward levels and there isn't any uniformity in the absence of an order about it. For instance, in some wards, the areas where one patient was found positive are not sealed, while in other wards, even a single positive report has resulted in the sealing of an entire area.

"There were only two positive patients found in a locality area and we are closely monitoring the situation. There is no need to seal the locality as it will create unnecessary panic among residents," said Nitin Arte, assistant commissioner of B ward.

Some wards are taking extreme steps. "We earlier sanitised a building and advised the people to stay at home. But now we are sealing buildings with even one patient," said Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner of R North (Dahisar) ward.

In M West, five areas are sealed and preparation for a quarantine facility is going on. "We will shift only those who do not have separate toilets at their homes," said Prithviraj Chowhan, assistant commissioner of M West ward.

"There has to be some clear instruction about the acquisition of vacant rooms, selection of people for quarantine, preparation of food, the supply of essential service etc. This situation is unprecedented and everyone is tackling it in a different way," said another corporator.

Another corporator said there is no uniformity in the absence of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this situation of an epidemic.

150
No. of cops and additional BMC officials deployed at the spot

Over 150 areas sealed

There are more than 150 areas sealed across the city where one or more people have reported positive. The BMC has shown these sealed areas, with a virus sign and detailed address on a map.

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