Dharavi area in Mumbai which houses Asia’s largest slum appears to have tided over the second wave of Coronavirus as the area recorded just three new positive cases on Wednesday. The region which is considered to be the most vulnerable spots in the city amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has bounced back again banking on the same strategy that it adopted during the first wave of Coronavirus last year, the Indian Express reported. The tally of three new cases is the lowest since February 11 when the second wave had started running on its course in the financial capital city of the country.
Of the odd 6700 Coronavirus positive cases traced in the 2.5 km square area during the whole Covid-19 pandemic, about 2000 cases which is 36 percent of the total cases were recorded in the last two months of March and April, the Indian Express quoted the BMC data. As the second wave of Coronavirus spread across the city, the Dharavi started recording about 50 daily cases through the month of March. As the severity of the second wave worsened, the area recorded the single day highest toll of 99 cases on April 8 evoking fears among the residents and officials. However, on Wednesday the total active cases load of the area was only 62 largely in line with the overall drop in the Mumbai city.
Kiran Dighavkar who is the Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G North Ward, BMC told the Indian Express that the civic body resorted back to the last year’s Dharavi model only which translates to intensive screening, testing and isolating. The slum area which is the residence of about a million people with the majority being migrant labourers posed a unique challenge to the civic officials as people lived in close vicinity in cramped up space. What helped the civic authority was its wise decision not to shut the fever clinics which had been operating in the area since the first wave. As the cases of infection increased in February, the BMC officials also started testing centres at five places in the area. A posse of mobile vans were also deployed to cover the narrow stretches of the area and test people with Covid-19 symptoms.
Even as the threat of the deadly second wave seems to have been tamed for now, the civic officials have another task at hand as the body aims to vaccinate a large number of people from the area in the shortest possible time. Recently the officials opened two more vaccination centres to cater to the large population of the slum area at transit camp school and the SWC centre.