Coronavirus Pandemic

India: Sharp drop in Covid cases in Mumbai's Dharavi slums

Web report/Mumbai
Filed on May 27, 2021
Civic authority marshals fine a motorcyclist for not wearing a face mask in Dharavi, Mumbai. Photo: AFP

Just three new Covid cases on Wednesday, the lowest since February 11.

With almost a million people living in unhygienic conditions, Mumbai's Dharavi is one of Asia’s largest slum colonies. Covid has been playing havoc in the complex, sending thousands of people to hospitals.

Fortunately, Dharavi has recovered rapidly, with the slumdwellers heeding to the civic officials and following the norms.

On Wednesday, it saw just three new Covid cases, the lowest since February 11, when the second wave engulfed Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

Located on the edge of the Mahim Creek, Dharavi saw 2,500 new cases in March and April. But thanks to the strenuous efforts of the civic officials, it has managed to overcome the crisis.

Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner, who has been battling Covid-19 in the area since last year, said the authorities reverted to last year’s ‘Dharavi model,’ which includes three aspects: screen, test and isolate.

It proved to be quite effective in the second wave as well, and the authorities have been able to bring down the cases in an area where it is tough to enforce health norms.

According to news reports, Dharavi had 947 active cases on May 1, but these have now come down to a little over 60. The major challenge that confronts officials while tackling the Covid crisis in slum pockets like Dharavi is ensuring social distancing. It is home to thousands of migrant workers, most of who live in cramped space.

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