Over 78 lakh such people have been screened so far, says BMC
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has informed the Bombay high court that it has ramped up COVID-19 contact tracing in the city by 1:10 ratio and plans to increase the same to 1:15 ratio in the coming days.
In an affidavit filed in the court on Tuesday, the civic body said for every COVID-19 patient, it has identified at least 10 high and low-risk contacts and placed them in institutional or home quarantine. On June 12 alone, the BMC claimed, it had screened more than 19,000 people who may have come in contact with infected persons, while over 78 lakh such people have been screened so far.
“To contain or stop the spread of COVID-19, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has been carrying out aggressive contact tracing. The current contact tracing ratio is 1:10 and the proposal is to increase this to 1:15 in densely populated areas,” the affidavit filed by BMC’s E ward assistant commissioner reads.
These submissions were made before a bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla, who was hearing a petition filed by Neelkamal Realty, a DB Realty group company, challenging the requisition of its redevelopment building in Byculla to use it as a quarantine facility. Two other developers have also challenged the requisition of their buildings in Worli and Andheri (west).
The BMC informed the court that it has decided against using the buildings in Worli and Andheri, but Neelkamal Realty’s building would be used as a quarantine facility, considering the high number of cases in E ward, which includes Byculla.
Neelkamal Realty Tower, a redevelopment building meant to house 240-odd tenants, is yet to meet civic requirements for an occupation certificate, the BMC told the court.
Therefore, it has been converted into a 1,000-bed quarantine facility, where 940 people are now recuperating, the civic body stated. Moreover, the building's proximity to civic-run Kasturba and Nair Hospitals also makes it suitable, the BMC counsels, senior advocates Aspi Chinoy, and Anil Sakhre, argued.
The civic body also told the court that it is willing to pay the developer a monthly rent of Rs 25 lakh that could be used for rent and repairs of transit facilities where the building’s tenants are currently lodged.
Advocate Vivek Shukla, who represents 140 tenants of the building, said the tenants are not against the building being used as a quarantine facility, as the developer is yet to hand over the flats to them. Advocate Shukla added that the developer is “yet to pay them transit accommodation rent for the last four months”. As long as they are paid rent, the building could be used by the BMC, he said. The high court will continue hearing the matter on Friday.