Vadodara/ Rajkot: When the Covid-19 pandemic had started almost a year ago, entire streets, localities and residential areas were barricaded, declared as containment zones.
Later, all the civic bodies across Gujarat had shifted their strategies. Instead of barricading the entire localities, micro containment zones were declared and stickers declaring houses, individual apartments and bungalows as micro-contained were posted.
But now, all the municipal corporations seem to be adopting contradictory stands when it comes to handling Covid-19 in their respective cities.
While municipal corporations like Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) have completely done away with the practice of posting stickers outside households, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) continues posting such stickers.
Similarly, as Gujarat is witnessing another surge of Covid-19 cases, SMCSurat civic body and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have started declaring cluster containment or micro containment areas which the Vadodara civic body doesn’t.
VMC and RMC officials cite the Supreme Court (SC) order of December last through which all states and union territories were directed not to put up home isolation posters outside houses of Covid-19 patients. VMC medical officer (health) Dr Devesh Patel said that the civic body is not pasting stickers as it would be a violation of directives of the apex court.
But he added that if it came to light that there were many houses in a particular area with positive cases, the civic body could consider putting up material to declare them as containment zones.
“We declare micro containment zone, inform society chairman or president and also send a copy to police department. They advise the residents to follow the rules of containment zone,” said an RMC official.
It is, however, not just about posting stickers outside houses.
SMC for instance has dedicated personnel which sanitize houses of Covid-19 patients and even collect the garbage generated from such patients who are in home isolation.
In contrast, in Vadodara discarding daily garbage remains a challenge for Covid-19 positive patients.
“When I inquired about it on VMC’s helpline number, I was told that I should simply hand it over to those collecting door-to-door garbage for all societies. Isn’t that putting everybody including the ‘safai karmacharis’ at risk?” said a Vadodara resident, while sharing his experience of home isolation.
Additional city engineer Shailesh Naik said that the department had formed teams to collect garbage from the residents of Covid-19 patients who were under home quarantine.
(With inputs from Nimesh Khakhariya, Rajkot)