While the sealing in Delhi will be periodically reviewed, that in Noida and Ghaziabad will remain in effect till April 15. The national lockdown ends on April 14.
The containment zones in Delhi include the Bengali Market area, and some parts of Malviya Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Dwarka, Jahangirpuri, Dilshad Garden, Jhilmil Colony, Mayur Vihar, Preet Vihar and Vasundhara Enclave. In effect, over 15,000 Delhiites are under complete lockdown in their houses. TOI had already reported the East Delhi district administration had created eight containment zones on Tuesday.
In Noida, seven residential sectors and eleven group housing societies are among the 22 places sealed. In Ghaziabad, which has seen less than half the number of Covid-19 cases as Noida — 25 to Noida’s 62 — the number of places that have been sealed is 13, including four housing societies.
Sealing a more stringent version of lockdown
The areas that have been sealed have all been identified as ‘hotspots’, defined as any location that has seen at least one person test positive for Covid-19.
Sealing means a more stringent version of the lockdown. In the areas where it came into force, no one is allowed to enter or leave, with exceptions made only for medical emergencies, government pass holders and residents involved in essential services. Journalists, who are exempted from the lockdown, also can’t enter a location that is ‘sealed’ unless the individual lives there (since media is an essential service, s/he can step out for work).
UP is treating each case as a ‘hotspot’. So if there is a positive case from a flat in a housing society, the entire society is treated as a ‘hotspot’. The same for a sector, if one house has a positive case. But Noida and Ghaziabad have a slight difference here. While Noida is considering the whole sector as a ‘hotspot’ if one case is located there, Ghaziabad has in similar circumstances decided to seal only a 1k radius area. All curfew passes earlier issued in Noida and Ghaziabad stand cancelled.
An order invoking containment plan for Delhi’s Bengali Market/Babar Road and adjoining areas of Todarmal Road, Babar Lane and School Lane was issued by DM, New Delhi after three COVID-19 positive cases were found in Bengali Market area. The order directed police to cordon off the entire Bengali Market area to prevent the movement of persons out of the vicinity of Bengali Market area to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The DM also directed action against the owner of Bengali Pastry Shop where around 35 persons were found living in small place and no social distancing was followed, the DM order stated. NDMC has started sanitising the Bengali Market areas to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
The new areas placed under containment zones are entire street near Gandhi Park, Malviya Nagar, entire street of Gali No 6, L 1 Sangam Vihar, Shahajahanabad Society, Plot No 1, Sector 11, Dwarka, Dinpur Village, Markaz Masjid and Nizamuddin Basti, Nizamuddin West (G and D block) areas, B Block of Jhangirpuri, Gali No 5, A Block in West Vinod Nagar, J & K, L and H pockets, Dilshad Garden, G, H, J, Blocks old Seemapuri, F- 70 to 90 block Dilshad Colony and Pratap Khand in Jhilmil Colony.
“Some cases have also been reported from Sadar area. It is also being sealed. The 20 areas have been sealed,” deputy CM Manish Sisodia said.
The sealing conditions will apply only to the specific areas mentioned in the list issued by the state government. In all other parts, regular lockdown rules that are currently in force will continue to apply. The sealing also does not mean any changes in security protocols at the borders Noida and Ghaziabad share with each other and Delhi.
The 22 ‘hotspots’ in Noida include 12 clusters and 10 epicentres. Officials explained that every area that has a single case is an epicentre. If there are multiple cases reported from the same area, the epicentre becomes a cluster. “For example, Nirala Greenshire society and Patwari village in Greater Noida are next to each other and are one hotspot. Similarly, Palm Olympia is a hotspot and the entire society will be sealed. The rest of the Gaur City township, where it is located, will not be sealed,” said Bhooshan. “If more cases come, police will take a call on expanding or reducing the area,” he added.
Among the 13 hotspots identified in Ghaziabad is a Covid Hospital being run from the Community Health Centre in Muradnagar.