Cyclone Nisarga: BMC will screen more than 50,000 evacuated people

Updated: Jun 04, 2020, 07:13 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

With most sheltering with friends and family, civic body will also increase door-to-door screening

Residents of Worli village, Markhaandeshwar and Mariamma Nagar slum have been shifted to Nehru Science Centre. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Residents of Worli village, Markhaandeshwar and Mariamma Nagar slum have been shifted to Nehru Science Centre. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Even as all the uncertainty over cyclone Nisarga slowly comes to an end, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now faced with a greater challenge of testing 48,887 people, who were shifted to safer places, for COVID-19. As almost 30,000 of them went to their relatives' homes, the civic body will have to increase door-to-door survey and set up more fever clinics to curb further spread of the infection.

According to official information, the BMC shifted about 18,887 people to safer places by Wednesday afternoon. A civic official said that more than 30,000 people moved to their relatives' homes on their own in view of the red alert. However, the BMC has already started screening the people before letting them return home.

Speaking to mid-day, Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner from K West ward, said, "We shifted 450 people from Devachi Wadi, Sagar Kutir and Mora Gaon in Juhu and Versova to Rutumbara College and nearby municipal schools. The positive cases in the area are quite scattered and there are small containment zones. We are checking people's temperature, oxygen level and symptoms before allowing them to return home." The K West ward has around 2,500 positive cases.

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner of R North (Dahisar), said, "People were shifted from two areas. Thirty-two people from Patilwadi and 70 people from Ganpat Patil Nagar were shifted to municipal schools. Apart from this, about 225 people from Patilwadi and 230 residents of Ganpat Patil Nagar moved from their homes, as these are low-lying areas. All of them will be screened for COVID-19 and swab tests of symptomatic persons will be conducted."

"The areas are non-containment zones, so there is no need to panic. Besides, the civic body will conduct screening," said ex-corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar. Dahisar has a total of 486 positive cases.

"We have been shifted to Mahim municipal school. We are staying in the classrooms and being given food. But we don't know when we will be allowed to return home or whether tests will be conducted. This area has no containment zones," said Imran Sheikh from Pattharwadi, Mahim.

Meanwhile, Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner of G North ward, said, "Initially there was resistance but later the residents were ready to shift to municipal schools. We prepared three schools and 440 residents are staying there. There aren't any containment zones in the Mahim fishermen colony, so the residents will be allowed to go once we get the order from the headquarters."

When contacted, Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner of BMC, said, "We will check people for symptoms before they return to their homes as a precautionary measure. We have asked them to maintain social distance as well. There are only a few people from containment zones. The municipal facilities will be treated as quarantine centres and tests will be conducted."

He added that people who shifted to their relatives' place would return to their homes in a day or two. "We conduct house-to-house survey and have fever clinics at every slum. They will be tested if found symptomatic," he concluded.

However, municipal chief Iqbal Singh Chahal has ordered to keep those who have been shifted to municipal facilities there till June 5 and conduct their screening. He further said that those found symptomatic would be sent to CCC2.

No. of people who shifted to relatives' homes on their own

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