After SC order, Administration focuses on Containment Zones in Vaishali, Khoda and Loni

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A day after the Apex Court directed the Ghaziabad District Magistrate to ensure that national guidelines are followed with regard to the creation of containment zones, in connection with a plea filed by a Vaishali resident, the administration officials said that the sector scheme will continue in Khoda, Vaishali & Loni.

The plea had challenged the sealing of Gateway Towers & the implementation of the administration’s sector scheme in Vaishali. Petitioner Mohammad Faizul Khan, a resident of the high-rise, had contended that the sector scheme finds no mention in the Unlock 1.0 guidelines of the Centre & should be abolished.

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Ajay Shankar Pandey, District Magistrate, said that “The directions of the court will be complied with. The sector scheme is a process or procedure through which the containment exercise is implemented by roping in a team of magistrates, medical staff & the police, etc. We will be taking into consideration the containment zones in each of the localities”.

Pandey added that “If we go by the containment zones norms, a majority of the areas in the three localities will be covered. More containment zones will be chalked out in the future due to the rise in the Covid-19 cases”.

According to the latest list of containment zones available with the health department till June 9, the Ghaziabad district has a total of 217 containment zones, with 188 under category-1 & 29 under category-2.

Category-1 containment zones comprise those areas which have a single Covid-19 case & the area of containment zone has a radius of 250 metres or covers the entire mohalla, whichever is less.

Category-2 containment zones comprise areas with more than one case, covering a radius of 500 metres & an additional 250 metres as a buffer.

An officer from the district health department on condition of anonymity said that “If we add up the areas covered by the different containment zones, a majority of Vaishali, Khoda & Loni will be included. Even if a particular area is not declared a containment zone & its residents move out, they will have to pass through the radius area of a containment zone nearby. So, their movement will be restricted”.

According to officials, a containment zone will be scrapped within 14 to 21 days in case no more cases emerge from there. The administration had implemented the sector scheme in wake of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Khoda, Vaishali & Loni.

According to the list of containment zones, Vaishali has 13 zones under category-1 & three under category-2. Khoda comprises 30 different category-1 zones & two category-2 zones. Loni has eight category-1 zones & five category-2 containment zones.

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The sector scheme was implemented in Khoda, Loni & Vaishali on May 10, May 27 & June, respectively. Lately, however, the administration has relaxed some restrictions in Vaishali & Khoda—markets have been allowed to open up.

The petitioner in the case, Mohammad Faizul Khan said that “The worst part about the sector scheme is the restriction on the movement of Vaishali residents towards Delhi. After the Supreme Court order, the administration might release a revised order. Once they roll out the revised directions, we will decide upon the future course of action”.

The officials of the health department said that two engineers on Saturday have been roped in & will submit a report to the district magistrate.

Another officer from the health department on condition of anonymity said, “The engineers will take stock of the containment zones based on active cases & other parameters & will submit a report to the district magistrate. Their report will determine how much of localities such as Vaishali & Khoda can be placed under containment”.

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