Mumbai's Dharavi, which once emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot of the city during the initial months of the pandemic, is now witnessing a sharp decline in the number of average daily cases.
Asia's largest slum has not reported a single death from coronavirus pandemic in the first week of June. While Dharavi reported an average of 47 cases in May, which has come down to 27 in June. The doubling rate has improved to 44 days in June. Nearly 50% of total coronavirus cases have been recovered in this area. On 8 June, 12 new cases were recorded in the area and 13 new cases were confirmed 7 June. However, there were 26 new cases and 2 deaths on June 9.
Kiran Dighawkar, the assistant municipal commissioner of BMC G North ward, that covers Dharavi, attributed Maharashtra government's 'chases the virus' policy to win the battle against coronavirus. Aggressive contact tracing, isolation and testing have helped Mumbai to lower the number of positive cases. "Nearly 4 lakh people have been screened by BMC health workers, private clinic doctors, mobile van, Municipal dispensary," Dighawkar said.
"We worked on the formula of screen maximum number of people for fever, oxygen level and other symptoms and isolate them and test them proactively," he added.
Maharashtra government has set up fever clinics to identify the people showing symptoms of coronavirus infection. If a patient shows any symptoms, he or she will be isolated immediately to contain the spread of the virus, Dighawkar explained.
Dharavi in central Mumbai had reported the first coronavirus case on April 1, almost a week after the national lockdown came into force. Since then, the area has became a focal point of coronavirus pandemic as it is home to over 8 lakh people. The total number of positive cases in Dharavi stands at 1,912 as on June 7.
“I don’t think that there will be a rise in the numbers after this as we are continuously screening more and more people and ensuring isolation of most of the people. We will keep doing that until there are zero cases in Dharavi," Dighawkar told the Hindustan Times.
The coronavirus cases in Mumbai surged past the grim milestone of 90,000. The death toll increased to 3,289. India's COVID-19 count to 2.76 lakh today.