Amid all the depressing stories emerging from Mumbai surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, a heartening piece of news has come from the heart of the city. Dharavi, the world’s largest slum, has not reported a single new corona-positive case in the last six days.
Authorities also say that around 50% of the patients (939 of total 1,899 patients) have recovered completely in this area, which is seen as an indicator that the fight against the disease is on its right track, especially in Dharavi. The number of people getting discharged from the hospitals has also increased. So far, the area has reported 71 deaths.
Earlier it was predicted that fatalities might increase in this area as social distancing was not possible because of high population density. Two weeks ago, average cases in Dharavi were recorded at around 40-50 cases. The number of per-day cases decreased subsequently in two weeks from 20-30 cases to 10-12 cases respectively. The area, which is spread in 2.4 sq km, accounts for 3% of total corona patients in Maharashtra and 4.5% of cases of Mumbai which is more than active cases in Odisha and Kerala. In the entire Mumbai, the G-North ward which belongs to Dharavi has the highest number of cases. Thankfully, the Covid numbers are now decreasing.
Recently, more than one lakh migrant labourers have left the area and this is seen to be a reason behind the decrease in infections. Over 9 lakh people live in Dharavi in which many are forced to stay in 10×10 sq ft-sized rooms and use public toilets. At present, most areas in Dharavi are sealed. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has increased tests here. Fever clinics have also started to help to reduce the cases. According to local MLA and Cabinet minister Varsha Gaikwad, BMC has launched “chase the virus campaign” in Dharavi under which every Covid-19 positive case along with 15 others who come in contact, will be quarantined.