Covid-19: Quarantine, strict lockdown only way forward for Mumbai’s hotspots: BMC
The hotspots for the Covid-19 outbreak in the city are Worli, Dharavi, Byculla and Mazgaon, Kurla, Wadala and Andheri west.Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 17:28 IST
With almost 60% of Mumbai’s total Covid-19 positive patients reported from 7 of the 24 wards in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is trying tooth and nail to bring down the positive cases in these few wards, in order to stabilise Mumbai’s Covid-19 figures.
The hotspots for the Covid-19 outbreak in the city are Worli, Dharavi, Byculla and Mazgaon, Kurla, Wadala and Andheri west. As of April 21, 2045 Covid-19 positive cases were reported from wards corresponding to these areas, of the total 3,445 cases reported in Mumbai till that day.
A senior civic officer said, “We are closely monitoring our strategy for these few wards. Even though the same kinds of measures are taken across Mumbai to curb the outbreak, the measures in these wards are more intensified.”
Another officer added, “The good news is, that shows us we are doing something right, is the new positive cases progressively discovered daily, in these wards are among people who were already institutionally quarantined by BMC. These people were quarantined as risk contacts after the first Covid-19 cases were discovered in the respective areas. There are very few stray surprise cases outside of those already being monitored by BMC.”
The solution for BMC going forward is quarantining more people who are contacts of Covid-19 positive cases. As of now, there are 245 type one Covid-19 care centres (for asymptomatic but positive cases) with a bed capacity of 16,000. There are another 79 type two Covid-19 care centres (high risk but non-positive cases) with 9000 beds. BMC will scale up the number of quarantine centres for Covid-19 suspects or asymptomatic positive persons soon - today itself, and an announcement will be made this evening, an officer said.
Another method of containing the outbreak in these areas is monitoring human movement with drone images. “We are flying drones every day, all the time, and carefully inspecting feed from them for any crowding, lathering, or even one or two stray humans walking around. Police or ward staff is immediately intimated, and these people are moved indoors. Food packets are delivered on time to ensure people are not prompted to venture out of home for any food.”
Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G north ward (Dharavi, Mahim and Dadar), said, “We are increasing our quarantine facilities and ensuring that our hotspot areas and containment zones have a regular supply of food and medicine requirements in order to make sure that people in these areas do not step out of their homes. There are 49 containment zones in G north ward, of which 37 are in Dharavi alone.”
As of Wednesday, there are 817 containment zones in Mumbai.