The number of COVID-19 containment zones in Delhi has risen from 539 on August 1 to 591 on August 21, with officials attributing the rise to smaller areas being contained now. According to data, the number of containment zones had decreased to 496 in the national capital on August 2 and had witnessed a marginal increase to 499 on August 4.
The following days, the number declined to 481 and 466. On August 12, the number of containment zones went past 500.
Officials attributed the rise in the number of containment zones to bigger areas being broken into smaller segments to ensure that people do not face issues.
On June 26, it was decided to re-map the containment zones to divide those into micro clusters for a better surveillance and contact-tracing. There were 280 containment zones in Delhi on June 26. On July 20, the number was 696.
Delhi has seen a fluctuation in the number of coronavirus cases since August 1. On August 1, the number of daily cases reported was 1,118 while for the next three days, the number of infections reported in a day stayed below the 1,000-mark.
From August 5 to August 9, the number of fresh COVID-19 cases again stayed above the 1,000-mark, only to come down to 707 on August 10. As many as 1,404 cases were recorded on August 8, the previous highest single-day spike of August.
Three days between August 11 and August 22 saw less than 1,000 fresh cases being reported -- August 13 (956), August 16 (652), and August 17 (787). Coincidentally, the days the number was below 1,000, the number of tests conducted was also less than the average in the national capital, which is 20,000 daily.
The number of active cases in Delhi has also risen from 10,596 on August 1 to 11,594 on August 22.
In July, the number of containment zones was more than 700 in Delhi, but it gradually declined in August owing to the government allowing the "red" zones to be denotified 14 days after the discharge of the last confirmed case, instead of the earlier norm of 28 days.
The number of containment zones was 591 in Delhi on Friday, according to a list available on the revenue department's website. The maximum of 137 active containment zones is in Southwest district, followed by West (63), South (55) and North (50).
All the other districts have less than 50 active containment zones, with New Delhi and Northwest districts having 17 such areas each.
The total number of active containment zones in the national capital is 466 while 125 zones are in the process of scaling down towards decontainment.
Officials said the containment zone plan is now more specific and with smaller zones being contained, people are also not feeling inconvenienced.
East District Magistrate Arun Kumar Mishra said carving out the containment zones is an important tool in containing the spread of COVID-19.
"We keep a regular watch on the situation and do the needful. The containment zones in East Delhi are smaller in size. There are presently 24 such zones in the district," he added.
"If we increase the number of containment zones, we can contain the virus better. The number of days after which an area can be denotifified has also been reduced now," an official from West district said.
The district always had smaller containment zones and once or twice, when the size of such areas was increased, problems were witnessed, he said, adding that smaller containment zones mean better monitoring and people do not suffer as well.
"Sometimes, when we increase the size of such zones, they never end up being decontained. We are doing micro containment so that the virus does not spread," the official said.