COVID-19: Multi-pronged strategy for Dharavi

COVID-19: Multi-pronged strategy for Dharavi

File photo of Dharavi. Credit: Reuters

With no let-up in the spike in cases in Dharavi, the Maharashtra government and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai have come up with a multi-pronged strategy to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in Asia's biggest slum cluster.

Dharavi, spread across 2.1 sq km, is home to seven to 10 lakh people and sandwiched between the Central and Western suburban railway lines of Mumbai.

The COVID-19 hotspot of Dharavi falls between the Sion, Matunga, Mahim and Bandra areas.

Approximately 250 cases and 14 deaths have been reported from Dharavi and a large part has been turned into a containment zone.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been taking regular reviews on Dharavi and neighbourhood areas.

Dharavi also is home to migrants and daily wage earners, and they are now stranded.

The Inter-Ministerial Central Team (ICMT) had visited Dharavi along with Maharashtra’s Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

MCGM has plans to distribute hydroxychloroquine tablets to people who are in the containment zone. Besides, pool testing and plasma therapy would also commence.

In Dharavi and its neighbourhood areas, several schools, colleges, community halls and institutes have been acquired as quarantine facilities. "As of now, family members and close contacts of positive patients have been in home quarantine. We will send them to institutional quarantine," said Tope.

According to MCGM, over 1.5 lakh are in the containment zone in Dharavi and essentials are being delivered to their doorsteps.

In the fever camps, several persons have been screened.

In a related development, the Mahim-Dharavi Medical Practitioners Association met MCGM officials and gave assurance that clinics would open.

The worst-affected areas of Dharavi are Dr Baliga Nagar, Muslim Colony, Social Nagar and Kalyanwadi.

"Door-to-door screening is also being done," officials said.

In Dharavi, a 300-bed quarantine centre at the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex is operational and a 600-bed facility is being created in Dharavi Municipal School.