BMC: Restrictions eased on sealing buildings amid Covid-19 cases

  • | Wednesday | 16th September, 2020

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities have decided to ease the rules for sealing residential buildings, where Covid-19 cases have been reported. The new rules will come into effect from Thursday.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities have decided to ease the rules for sealing residential buildings, where Covid-19 cases have been reported. The new rules will come into effect from Thursday.

Instead of sealing these buildings, where viral outbreak cases have been reported, the civic authorities have directed office-bearers of respective housing societies to take more responsibilities in a bid to tackle the spread of the contagion, which has been causing havoc for the past six months in Mumbai.

The new BMC protocol has stated that a building would be sealed if 10, or more Covid-19 positive cases, are found in the premises, especially on more than two floors.

A part of the building such as a wing or a floor would be sealed if a single Covid-19 positive case is found or multiple persons are found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2, which causes the viral disease, in a single household, stated a circular of the new protocol issued by the BMC.

‘However, the final call will be taken by an assistant commissioner, or a ward officer, who is in charge of an administrative ward, or a medical officer of health (MOH) on whether sealing the floor or wing is adequate, or if the entire building needs to be sealed in a bid prevent the spread of Covid-19,” the circular stated.

The new BMC protocol fixes the accountability on a residential building’s office-bearers and local civic authorities to ensure social distancing, a ban on entry of outsiders in the sealed area and monitoring the health and ensuring supplies of essential commodities of home quarantined patients.

Besides, home quarantined patients’ high-risk contacts will also needed to be monitored by a residential building’s office-bearers.

Earlier, the BMC used to seal an entire building, if more than three Covid-19 positive cases were reported. While a floor or a wing was sealed, if less than three cases of the viral outbreak were reported.

Initially, when the civic body started sealing neighbourhoods and residential buildings in March and April following the viral outbreak, it had stipulated that even if one person from the building premises was found to have tested Covid-19 positive, then the entire premises would be sealed.

The office-bearers of a residential building have also been directed to ensure that foolproof containment measures are put in place such as a ban on the entry in the sealed area for visitors like maids, vegetable and fruit vendors. Emphasis needs to be laid on online delivery of essential items in a safe and secure manner while complying with all necessary protocols issued by the civic authorities.

The home quarantined patients and their high-risk contacts in sealed buildings will have to download Arogya Setu application (app) on their phones in a bid to monitor their movements, ward war room or the BMC’s control room number (1916) should be alerted if patients develop symptoms and the infected persons should be in touch with MOH of a ward on a regular basis.

In the BMC-run area, there were 8,763 sealed buildings and 592 containment zones, including slums and chawls, until Monday. While between Sunday and Monday, the civic authorities had tracked down 16, 304 high-risk contacts within a span of 24 hours.



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