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Asia's largest slum Dharavi records just 3 cases in last 24 hours, lowest count since Feb 11
Dharavi is home to an estimated 8.5-10 lakh people, with around 40% of them being migrant labourers
When the covid cases surged throughout the city of Mumbai, Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum recorded just three cases on Wednesday. This has been the lowest count since February 11, 2021.
Dharavi has registered 6,798 cases during last year's epidemic, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Around 36% (2,500) of these instances were documented in March and April of this year.
Dharavi had 10 daily cases soon after the second wave began in mid-February, its first double-digit figure for a day in 37 days. In March, there were 50 cases per day on average in the area. Even when the active caseload increased to 180 by March 23, the 250-bed quarantine centre in Vanita Samaj Hall was full.
The largest single-day rise was 99 on April 8, raising major concerns. Dharavi had 947 active cases as of May 1. According to the statistics from Wednesday, there are 62 current cases.
“We went back to last year’s ‘Dharavi Model,’ screen, test and isolate,” said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner (G North Ward), BMC, speaking on the municipal body's plan this time.
Dharavi is home to an estimated 8.5-10 lakh people, with around 40% of them being migrant labourers, many of whom occupy small 1010-foot rooms. This offers a serious issue for authorities in terms of social distancing and isolation. Nonetheless, during the first wave, Dharavi was able to successfully reduce the number of daily cases, which plummeted below 30 after September 2020, with no new cases reported in a 24-hour period on six occasions, once in December last year, four times in January, and once in February this year.
Since May 10, Dharavi has seen a daily decrease in the number of cases. This corresponds to a decline in daily cases across Mumbai, where the number of daily cases ranged from 300 to 500 in January, increased to over a thousand by February, and surged rapidly in March and April.
According to BMC authorities, the goal is now to enhance vaccine coverage in Dharavi. On March 22, a vaccination centre at an urban health centre known as 'Chhota Sion Hospital' opened its doors. Following a lukewarm response in the first ten days, the numbers increased, reaching 600 inoculations on May 6. So far, the centre has vaccinated 19,794 people, the vast majority of whom are from Dharavi.
To boost Dharavi's vaccination rate, two new centres have opened, the transit camp school on May 7 that has vaccinated 1,348 persons, and the SWC centre on May 12 has vaccinated 655.