Mumbai civic authority seals off several 'containment zones'

CCTV cameras and video analytics will tip off the police if lockdown loiterers come out of their houses

Mumbai: Alarmed by the rising cases of coronavirus across Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has identified 212 containment zones where movement of people will be curtailed. It has sealed off some of these areas completely with the help of the police.

The BMC made public the GIS map of COVID-19-affected areas in the city on its website.

Containment zones are areas where either one or more COVID-19 cases has been found or suspected patients live. They include slums, isolated buildings, nursing homes and housing colonies.

CCTV cameras have been installed in these areas to keep a watch on the residents. It is also using video analytics systems, which can locate a person loitering or moving out of the area and automatically send a message to police.

Covid-19 cases in Mumbai are now also being reported from densely populated areas like Dharavi, the city’s biggest slum.

"Some areas like Dharavi, Worli Koliwada, Prabhadevi and Bimbisar Nagar in Goregaon have been sealed off completely with the help of the police. No one is allowed to go in and out of these areas. Disinfectants were also sprayed to sanitise these places,” a senior BMC official said.

To avoid inconvenience to people living in the containment zones, the BMC has been supplying essential commodities to these localities. “We are making making all necessary arrangements in these areas,” said the official.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope informed that the Centre has allowed Maharashtra to conduct rapid, mass-scale COVID-19 testing by using blood samples to expedite detection of coronavirus cases. The government will use blood samples instead of swabs in the rapid tests, he added.

Dr Avinash Phadke, president of SRL Labs, said that rapid test reports will be available in two hours. “If antibodies are found in the blood, the patient can be referred for the swab test to confirm the infection. The rapid tests will not only reduce the burden on the laboratories, but the facility can be easily available even in the rural areas,” he said.

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