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Friday, April 16, 2021

Dharavi reports no death in past week: Here’s how they beat Covid-19

Finally a little sign of relief! Amid all negative happenings with infections soaring and economy taking a nose dive, Mumbai slum Dharavi emerged as a bright spot in India’s dark coronavirus scene. The region beat Covid-19 to a great extent.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials said Dharavi, a Covid-19 hotspot until lately, reported no death in the past seven days. Officials believe that the region is likely to flatten the virus curve soon. Fingers crossed!

Total cases skyrocketing with nearly 10,000 infections every day and the list of containment zones getting longer and longer across the country, this is like finding an oasis in the vast corona desert. Of total 1,900 cases, 939 have recovered from Dharavi. We sincerely pray things remain as they are in Dharavi.

On June 1, Asia biggest slum reported 34 cases. The number of new infections was just 13 on June 7. The declining trend of cases has definitely pumped some energy among health workers offering service there.

“Dharavi recorded no death in past six days which is the first indicator that we are on the right track. The number of people getting discharged is also increasing.” Kiran Dighavkar, BMC assistant municipal commissioner, G North Ward. Source Hindustan Times

The winning strategy to beat Covid-19?

According to Dighavkar, nearly 7 lakh people of the slum had undergone aggressive testing. BMC health workers, mobile van, private clinic doctors and municipal dispensary among others participated in the widespread testing of people with fever, low oxygen level, cough and other such ailments. Setting up fever clinic also played an important part in working in one of the most congested areas of India.

The fever clinics helped identify and isolate those with Covid-19 symptoms and thus preventing its spread. Why can’t our Metro cities that are reeling under heavy case load, follow this method? We hope they do!

Kudos to civic & health workers

According to the data available at the civic body, there are nearly 8.5 lakh people in Dharavi. The collective efforts managed to test almost 83% of the slum’s total population. Workers even went door-to-door to ensure aggressive testing. Now that’s an achievement! Total 8,500 people from the area are now in various government quarantine facilities.

A doctor treats his patient at Dharavi slum during the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Shutterstock

Report of the first Covid-19 positive from Dharavi came to light on April 1, soon after the first phase lockdown started. Then cases just snowballed quite rapidly, creating massive panic in the country. At present the region’s doubling rate is 34 days.

Scene at Mumbai, rest of India still grim

While we write this report, India’s coronavirus tally stands at 2,62,646 cases. Of them 1,27,302 people have recovered which is over 48%, something to feel positive about. And the total toll is 7,372, i.e. 2.8%, another major sign of relief. What we hope that the recovery rate improves and death rate goes down. If not, hope they at least stay like this.

The Mumbai scenario still look sad with 50,000 cases on Monday. Maharashtra cases reached over 88,000. The surge of new infections in also unabated in Metro cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai.

Quite obviously, if the Metros cannot function fully the economy won’t prosper no matter how much “unlocks” you launch. Amid all these, the Dharavi development provides some oxygen to the country. We believe the Metro cities must follow the suit!

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