'Was tough initially to control Covid spread in densely populated Dharavi,' says Mumbai civic official

·3 min read
Dharavi's Additional Municipal Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar (Photo/ANI)
Dharavi's Additional Municipal Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar (Photo/ANI)

By Sandeep Singh

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 14 (ANI): Dharavi in Mumbai on Monday reported zero COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, for the first time since February 2 this year.

Speaking to ANI, Dharavi's Additional Municipal Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar said, "It was in February when we last reported zero cases and then today we have no cases reported. Initially during the outbreak of COVID-19, it was tough to control the spread because people live in large numbers here and the area also has a number of small scale industries, textile factories etc."

"The Dharavi residents use common toilets too, so the task was indeed challenging. During the first and second waves, we had made arrangements of quarantine centres and isolation facilities. We were doing tracing, testing and treatment for people on a regular basis as well as carried out door-to-door testing on a regular basis."

A local resident of Dharavi stated, "We are very thankful to the local corporator as well as BMC which has been working for us since the pandemic has arrived here. Testing was done on a regular basis. I was also tested. In fact, even during the lockdown, we had food to eat and ration was distributed also. We are very happy that the Covid cases have gone down"

Another resident said, "The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has worked very well, but despite several efforts, and awareness, there are some people who don't follow Covid norms as the cases are down. We now are happy and feel safe."

Vijay Wadetttiwar, state minister for Disaster Management and Rehabilitation told ANI: "Dharavi is Asia's largest slum and logged zero cases of COVID-19 in a single day. It is a clear indicator that Mumbai is recovering well. Credits for this go to Mumbai authorities for better COVID management and Dharavi residents. It is a clear indicator that Mumbai is strongly fighting against COVID-19."

Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, "It is a success not only for the BMC, but for all the residents of Dharavi. All of them should be thanked."

The tally of infection in Dharavi held steady at 6,861, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which said that the active caseload of Dharavi is at 13, out of which six are in home isolation and 7 in hospitals, including 3 who are in COVID care units.

The Mayor Pednekar said today was the seventh time that the one of the worlds' densest urban settlements was reporting zero cases over the past two years.

"It is very densely populated area. In the second wave of COVID-19 in Dharavi, the number of patients has come to zero today. This has happened not once, but now total 7 times that Dharavi logged zero patients of COVID-19," the Mumbai mayor said.

In the first wave of the Covid pandemic, the number of daily cases in Dharavi dipped below 30 after September 2020, with no new cases reported in a period of 24 hours on six occasions. Zero cases were reported once in December 2020 and on four days in January and once in February this year.

Pednekar also lauded the efforts of Dharavi Assistant Municipal Commission Kiran Dighavkar for the feat.

"Dharavikars have done this. This continuity is necessary and all of us must continue to wear masks and avoid crowding. We have seen what citizens and municipalities can do. Dharavi taxes have given support to the concept of 'my family, my responsibility'," she said.

As per state health bulletin on Sunday, Maharashtra reported 10,442 new COVID cases, 7,504 recoveries and 483 deaths. The total cases touched 59,08,992 including 1,55,588 active cases and 56,39,271 recoveries. The total death toll was at 1,11,104. (ANI)

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