COVID-19: 779 of Mumbai's 1,391 containment zones are in congested areas

Updated: May 01, 2020, 07:10 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

While officers say this is because of focus on concentrated spots, improvement in these zones will decide how restrictions are eased

BMC food packets for Jijamata Nagar, a sealed area, in Worli. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
BMC food packets for Jijamata Nagar, a sealed area, in Worli. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

THE city's congested areas continue to see a rapid increase in the number of Containment Zones (CZ) as a result of positive cases in such areas across wards. Out of the total 1,391 CZs in the city, 779 (56 per cent) are in high density areas.

While the southern part of the city — Worli, Dharavi and Byculla has been the centre of COVID-19 cases, in the past 10 days, the northern and eastern part of the city have also seen CZs rise. The Kurla-Chembur belt in Eastern suburbs and the Jogeshwari-Andheri belt in western suburbs, together have nearly 25 per cent of the city's CZs. Out of the 1,391 active CZs, these two together have 322. Byculla too has seen a significant rise.

In the L ward, comprising Kurla and Chembur, CZs increased from 58 to 176 in the past 10 days, with 140 being in congested areas. Most parts of the ward are slum pockets. Assistant Commissioner Manish Valanju was unavailable for comment.

K West ward, comprising Jogeshwari to Vileparle West, has 146 active CZs, of which 92 are in congested areas like slums and gaonthans. The local ward officer said that the number is high because of the sealing of small pockets and not whole areas. "We are closing access to smaller areas instead of closing large chunks. It helps manage essential services. Hence the numbers are high," said Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner of the K West ward. He added that the most number of CZs are in congested areas like Gilbert Hill, Behram Baug, Gillette Nagar, Anand Nagar and Versova Koliwada.

E ward, that comprises Byculla, has over 100 CZs, of which 37 are in congested areas. Dharavi (G North), Parel-Worli (G South) and Santacruz E to Bandra E (H East) also have a high number of CZs.

The above six wards have 721 CZs, of which 430 are in congested areas. "The increased cases in congested areas is the outcome of the targeted approach for identification of COVID-19 suspects and testing," said a senior BMC officer. The officer added that the strategy includes proactive contact-tracing, containing pockets, house-to-house surveys of contained pockets, fever camps and identifying suspected cases.

Doctors wearing PPE suits prepare to enter Jijamata Nagar, a containment zone in Worli. PIC/ASHISH RAJEDoctors wearing PPE suits prepare to enter Jijamata Nagar, a containment zone in Worli. Pic/ Ashish Raje

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said, There is a personal, social and economical angle to containment zones. If we can quarantine high-risk contacts from these zones and people follow basic hygiene and social distancing, the lockdown can be eased to some extent. It will also benefit society at large and will even be helpful for the economy. There are secondary industries in congested areas which provide raw material or services to mainstream industries. If the number of positive patients comes down in places like Dharavi, it will surely help the economy of the entire city."

Mumbai's Containment Zones (CZ)

Active CZs: 1,391
Released: 318

Wards with high CZs (on April 18 and April 28)

L: 58 and 176
K West: 59 and146
E: 53 and123
G South: 81 and 92
H East: 53 and96
G north: 15 and 88

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