BMC’s Decision to Seal Down Entire Buildings for a Single COVID-19 Case Draws Flak From Residents

BMC’s Decision to Seal Down Entire Buildings for a Single COVID-19 Case Draws Flak From Residents

The BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has decided to seal down entire buildings in areas like Borivali, Dahisar, and Kandivli even if one positive case is registered. This has understandably drawn some ire from the locals who claim that it’s illogical to restrict the movement of unaffected citizens from an apartment or a floor.  

Residents added that this could be troubling if a flat has more than 100 apartments and only one positive case is reported. For example, Viceroy Park in Dahisar has a total of 150 homes and has been completely sealed down after one case was registered in the building. 

Vishwas Shankarwar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner of BMC’s Zone 7 said - “This means that those living in societies were not following home quarantine norms and moving out of their homes. Also, there is a reverse trend wherein 70% of Covid-19 cases are coming from buildings and 30% from slums, unlike before. Therefore, we needed to ensure that there is no further spread by breaking the viral chain. We are also considering the past number of Covid-19 cases from a society and sealing accordingly.”

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He added that COVID-19 positivity rate among high-risk contacts has gone up from 20% to 40%, which is some cause for concern. 

The BMC has mentioned that people and shopkeepers including chemists in affected or sealed down areas will undergo rapid antigen tests to determine if they’ve already caught the virus and cured from it. This is primarily because those who have been found COVID-19 positive from these areas only left their homes to buy essentials or medicines. 

It’s clear that there’s a lack of coordination between housing societies and the BMC with regard to sealing down entire buildings. However, when a patient has been identified and isolated, he/she is deemed to be at a lesser risk of spreading the virus, unless they violate quarantine rules. Moreover, if it’s a high-risk patient, they are immediately moved to the nearest civic or private COVID-19 hospital for treatment, thus making the sealing down completely pointless.