The city’s R (Central) Ward is certainly one of a kind. In an exception to the Maximum City’s other wards, R (Central) Ward has reported the maximum positive cases of Covid-19 from affluent localities instead of densely-populated slum pockets. This Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ward has recorded 186 Covid-19 cases as on May 12 with 17 deaths and 48 people have recovered.
Out of 186 total cases here, 110 cases are from high rises and the rest from slums. The R (Central) Ward area has 9 subwards and a population of 6 lakh of which 60 percent of positive cases reported from affluent localities as compared to dense slums pockets or chawls. Speaking to The Daily Guardian, Bhagyashri Kapse, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R (Central) Ward, said, “Yes, the observation is true that maximum positive patients are from high-rise buildings in our area.
Many of them who have contracted disease are frontline warriors like doctors, nurses, police, wardboys. Some are bankers and BMC employees. The source of infection observed is the hospital in our area. We are taking maximum precautions to curb increasing numbers. Currently, 810 are institutionally quarantined whereas 900 are home quarantined.
While one institutional quarantine centre is in place at Charkop area with 900 beds, soon we will start one on Link Road with some 800 beds.” The ward has 40% slums of which four slums, Kajupada, Rupvate Nagar, Magathane and Rai Dongri, have been declared Red Zones. Kapse added, “In slums, we even carried out a health survey for citizens above 50 to check their SPO2 levels (oxygen level in blood) of more than 10,000 people.
So far 24 people in the ward were found with less than 95% of SPO2 level, they were given the required treatment. Though the boundaries of slum pockets have been sealed, residents find a way out and are seen roaming outside risking their and others lives.” Meanwhile, corporator Riddhi Bhaskar of R/C-11 said, “In my area, 6 were affected, of which 3 have recovered and 3 are under quarantine.
Maximum infection in my area has come from hospital where one person went for some treatment, another patient used to step out only for dialysis, one was officer who works in Worli, one was a security guard at Dadar and the other two used to sell essentials.” Similarly, corporator Geeta Singhan of R/C-12 said: “In my area, 37 contracted the disease out of which 10 have recovered.
Yes, somehow numbers have increased but we are taking efforts even BMC officials are working day and night. In my area, one death which was reported was of a senior citizen.” On the focus on slums, corporator Asawari Patel of R/C-14 said: “In my subward, there were 4 cases all from slums. We visit slums and ask people to adhere to rules. Corporator of R/C13 Vidyarthi Singh said, “We should focus more on slum pockets and shelter for civic workers.”