Dharavi records its biggest daily rise in Covid-19 cases
Asia’s largest slum cluster of Dharavi recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases on Tuesday with 42 new infections as Maharashtra saw its tally rise by 729 to 9,318 cases and state government officials scrambled to contain the contagion by careful tracing and testing.
In Dharavi, where roughly 800,000 people live in cramped houses and 12 people often share two-room tenements, four deaths were reported on Tuesday even as the total number of infected patients crossed 300 and stood at 330.
“Majority of the people found to be positive are already quarantined by the BMC. This is because of our focused approach by screening and testing through mutliple sources. We are doing door-to-door surveys, screening people in private clinics and immediate isolation of high risk contacts and its a result of that,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of G North (Dharavi, Dadar and Mahim). As of Tuesday, about 2, 100 people have been advised to be home quarantined in Dharavi and 1,857 people have been admitted in institutional quarantines.
Across the state, 400 people have succumbed to the disease with 31 new fatalities on Tuesday. In districts with less than 15 cases and no hotspots or containment zones, officials have been asked to concentrate on converting orange zones – which have few cases -- into green ones, which have no infections.
“We have at least 11districts in orange zones with less than 10 cases and no fresh case in last 14 days besides two districts (Wardha and Gadchiroli) in green zones with no cases. The district collectors in orange zones have been asked to press to upgrade to green zones. Similarly, the districts and municipal corporations which are reporting sudden spike in cases have been asked to concentrate on the containment zone and go for strict contact tracing to avoid the further spread of the virus,” said an official from the state government on condition of anonymity.
The rise in cases in Aurangbad, Solapur, Nagpur, Malegaon in Nashik has caught the state machinery off guard. During his video conference on Sunday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray directed the respective district and civic authorities to contain the cases.
“The doubling rate in five hotspots of Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Palghar and Nashik is three times the state rate and is a cause of concern. Similarly, the orange zone districts like Chandrapur, Jalna, Washim, Parbhani,Osmanabad, where no new cases have been found in the last few days, the number can be restricted at the existing cases. They have been told to work in the direction to bring more districts to green list,” added the official quoted above .
State health minister Rajesh Tope said hotspots in state have reduced to five from 14 earlier this month.
Thackeray is expected to take stock of the situation in the state again in the next two days before taking a decision on further relaxation of restrictions after the second phase of the lockdown ends on May 3. The State government also expects the migrant workers, who are currently in shelters in various districts, to resume work.