District authorities setting up micro-containment zones as Covid-19 cases surge in Delhi
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the national capital, some district authorities have been setting up micro-containment zones where two or more infections have been reported for better management of the pandemic, officials said on Wednesday.
Normally, an area is marked containment zone where three or more Covid-19 cases are detected. But it is a dynamic exercise, conducted by district authorities on a need-based manner, they said.
The Delhi Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulation, 2020, authorises district magistrates to seal off a geographical area, banning entry and exit of the population from the containment zone and to take any measures directed by the health department to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to a senior Delhi government official, micro-containment zones have been formed in the southwest and northwest districts, while other districts were also using a flexible approach to ensure restricting virus transmission in the best possible way.
The southwest district magistrate had on Sunday issued an order for setting up of micro-containment zones in view of “large scale outbreak” of the novel coronavirus in the district.
“To contain the further spread of the disease, it is hereby ordered that micro-containment zone shall be formed upon detection of two or more Covid-19 positive cases in the same house/building/in the vicinity of each other,” stated the order.
A senior district official said the step was taken for better enforcement of quarantine measures.
According to the latest data, there are 4,980 containment zones in the city with the maximum 863 in the southwest district. In the northeast district too, authorities have been using two or more cases criterion to carve out more micro-containment zones.
“The purpose of setting up a containment zone is to ensure prevention of the spread of Covid-19 and save people from infection. The change (in criteria) will help better monitoring of the situation,” said a senior district officer in northeast Delhi.
Officials said micro-containment zones also means that while the infected people are quarantined, the residents of the neighbourhood are saved from inconveniences.
By this, the number of containment zones has gone up but people covered have gone down, a government data showed.
In July, the city had around 1,000 bigger containment zones with over four lakh people, however, by mid-November, there were 4,467 containment zones covering 1.61 lakh people, figures showed.
In a containment zone, entry and exit are not permitted, with district and health officials providing necessary supplies and monitoring infected persons.
For the past few weeks, Delhi has been witnessing a surge in coronavirus infection with the city reporting 6,224 fresh Covid-19 cases and 109 deaths on Tuesday.
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