“The numbers have almost tripled in three weeks. We have now decided to approach as few specific buildings and hold consultations to follow some safety measures. Similarly, we will carry special drives to ensure people are wearing masks at local markets,” said a deputy commissioner of police.
The resurgence of Covid cases in these pockets is likely to see the KMC health department form a borough-wise crack team to deal with any sort of emergency. Right now, the civic body’s health officials are worried over a spurt in boroughs IV, IX, XII, XIII and XIV. “In areas like Burrabazar, Jorasanko under Borough IV, there has been a growth in the number of cases,” conceded an official.
Civic health officials have reasons to worry about the rise in numbers in a few Bhowanipore and Alipore neighbourhoods under Borough IX. Large areas of Behala under boroughs XIII and XIV have started witnessing a sharp spike as well. Under Borough XII, areas such as Jadavpur, Baghajatin and Garfa have been under watch after a sudden spurt in cases.
“We are keeping a close watch over some of these boroughs. We have asked the borough executive health officers and medical officers to keep us updated about fresh cases and we have already extended our testing facilities in the ward level,” said a senior health official at the civic headquarters.
Sources cite the example between March 17 and 20, when there have been 298 fresh cases. “Of these, 37 were from the extended Behala belt, Ballygunge had another 25 and Bhowanipore 21. In other areas, Phoolbagan — with a dozen cases during the period — has emerged as a spot of bother,” said a KMC official.
According to a KMC health department official who was part of a special civic team that dealt with the Covid-19 outbreak at its peak last year, the department was particularly worried over resurgence of cases in high-rises and market places. “We are worried over the trend as we had fought with the dreaded virus that had spread from high-rises and crowded markets,” the KMC official said. Police and KMC want the residents and local traders to come on board together as they propose a plan for mandatory wearing of masks and sanitizing vulnerable blocks. “We are trying to put men at all the major markets to ensure social distancing,” said a police officer.
“We will appeal to all residents to allow our men to visit the apartments, carry out random tests and counsel residents,” said former MiC (health) Atin Ghosh, who is contesting from Belgachhia and is distributing masks even during his election campaign to raise awareness.