Mumbai civic commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has directed officials to deploy police at the entrance of buildings sealed in order to stop people from entering them in another attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases, which have been on the rise in the city. A building is sealed in Mumbai if it has five or more Covid-19 patients, according to the current civic protocol. Chahal said on Monday people living in such buildings in Mumbai might be inconvenienced by the order but asked them to cooperate so that the pandemic could be controlled.
“Given our previous experience in this regard, we need to be very vigilant about the implementation of Covid preventive measures. In this connection, as per the rules already enforced, the building in which more than 5 Covid-19 infected patients are found is sealed, must be followed,” Chahal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “Precautionary measures must be taken very strictly considering the possibility of a third wave and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others,” he added.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release that no one would be allowed to enter these sealed buildings and people who come to provide various services would also be stopped. The city had 27 sealed buildings as of Monday. The BMC said the number of Covid-19 patients has gone up slightly in Mumbai and that there was a need to be vigilant about implementing preventive measures against the disease.
The decision was taken at a virtual meeting chaired by Chahal and attended by ward officers, hospital deans and officials of the civic public health department as well as the Mumbai police’s deputy commissioner (operations), the BMC release said.
Chahal also told authorities in all the 24 wards of the BMC to appoint marshals to take punitive action against those not wearing masks or defying social distancing norms. He also asked civic hospitals and jumbo treatment centres in Mumbai to be prepared amid apprehension of a possible third wave of the pandemic as well as a potential outbreak of the Delta variant. All necessary facilities in all the hospitals, such as ambulances, health care staff, necessary equipment, medical stock of medicines, pills, injections, etc. were reviewed and updated as required.
He said 74 per cent of people above the age of 18 in Mumbai had been vaccinated against Covid-19 and asked civic officials to ensure the rest 26 per cent are covered quickly.
Data shows that Covid-19 cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have seen a slight surge in the past 15 days. It also showed that the daily average of 250 new cases registered in mid-August rose to 350 in the last five days. Mumbai recorded around 325 Covid-19 cases on August 1, which dropped to 262 on August 15 but reached 345 on August 29, according to the state health department.