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BENGALURU: With Bengaluru recording an uptick in number of Covid positive cases, the state government is all set to scrap the Standard Operating Procedure of declaring an entire ward as a containment zone. Instead, it will seal only the house or apartment of the infected person.
An order will be issued soon by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The move follows the logistical challenges in the present system of containment zones even as the city unlocks itself. Initially, BBMP would declare a ward (198 wards in the city) as a containment zone when a Covid case was reported. Subsequently, the parameters were revised: The street where an infected person stays in case of an independent house and three floors (one above and one below along with where the infected person stayed) in apartments were defined as containment zone. According to the Covid-19 War Room bulletin on Saturday, there are 126 streets and 19 apartment complexes which are containment zones across 116 wards.
This will change now. “There have been discussions on containing only a single home (of the Covid patient) and spare the the rest of the road and ward. The containment zone regulation is evolving,” BBMP commissioner BH Anil Kumar told TOI.
RWAs welcome BBMP’s decision to stop sealing wards
Unlike other cities such as Mumbai and Chennai where clusters (aggregation of Covid-19 cases which are epidemiologically linked) have been formed, the situation in Bengaluru is different as the civic agency has controlled the spread of infection, Kumar claimed.
Citing Padarayanapura, SK Garden and Mangammanapalya wards that almost saw a mild community spread, Kumar said containing the entire zone was very important. The earlier rules of containment zones were stringent and a 5-km radius round the house of a positive person would be marked.
Kumar said blocking the entire ward or sealing an entire road for one positive case for 28 days would be challenging. “The person who tests positive may turn negative in less than three days, in which case sealing a locality or ward or road would be injustice to those living there. The ministry of home affairs rules would be difficult to follow,” he said.
Many resident welfare associations are praising the BBMP for this move. A member of Whitefield Rising said: “With lockdown ending and free movement all around, the challenge has multiplied. It’s time for all citizens to step up and do their bit. Stay home as much as possible. Wear masks whenever out, and sanitise hands often.”
Janaki J of Malleswaram said containing only one house is sensible. “People need to understand that when everything is functioning normally, rules should also evolve,” she said.