Headlines April 11, 2020
India sets up 1,200 Covid-19 containment zones
As India intensifies its fight against coronavirus, the focus has shifted to about 1,200 containment zones. These are in the states which have reported over 100 cases. Thee zones are under a more strict form of lockdown. Movement of residents is completely banned.
The zones range from apartment blocks to entire neighbourhoods, even parts of an entire district. No one else other than authorised government officials and health workers are allowed to enter or exit.
In the past few days, on the directions of the Union Health Ministry, state governments have declared a large number of containment zones. Maharashtra has the highest at 401 containment zones, with Mumbai having 381 and Pune 20. Uttar Pradesh has 105 containment zones, Rajasthan 38, Madhya Pradesh 180, Tamil Nadu 220, Delhi 23, Telangana 125, including 36 in Hyderabad, and 121 in Andhra Pradesh.
Containment zones are aimed to prevent spread of Covid-19 from a locality or a village to nearby areas. “In simple terms, it is a barrier erected around the focus of infection,” said a health ministry document on containment zones. This way authorities can focus on containing the infections to a limited cluster, screening residents so that those with symptoms can be identified. This ensures that those who are infected have no contact with the outside world.
Police, including special response team of armed commandoes, maintain a round-the-clock watch, with the help of CCTV cameras and drones. Essentials are being delivered by Covid volunteers.
State governments, across the country, have adopted different strategies to manage these zones. States such as Odisha, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have released maps on social media notifying the boundary and the buffer of the containment zones.
Mumbai, which has the highest number of Covid-19 patients for a city, has more than doubled the number of containment zones in the city in the past two days to 381 zones.