BMC Sends 18 Mobile Dispensaries to Dharavi in Order to Screen Patients

BMC Sends 18 Mobile Dispensaries to Dharavi in Order to Screen Patients

The BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has announced the opening of 18 mobile dispensaries in Dharavi to screen patients more effectively. Dharavi has emerged as one of the biggest hotspots in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region with 1,425 COVID-19 positive cases and 56 deaths so far. These mobile dispensaries are basically ambulances and will be equipped with doctors and nurses. These dispensaries will run in tandem with local fever clinics and dispensaries run by around 350 medical practitioners.

As of yesterday, the BMC has reportedly screened over 4 lakh people from the Dharavi area. This is less than 50 per cent of the population as Dharavi is home to more than 8.5 lakh people, not including the people who have migrated to the region recently. On May 3, an official said that the only way to curb the virus is by isolating symptomatic patients, and also mentioned that they want to screen the entire population of the area twice. 

Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G-North ward, Kiran Dighavkar said - “These mobile dispensaries will be stationed at various places inside the slum and screen everyone, and even provide medical assistance to non-Covid patients. When needed, these will also double up as ambulances to transfer people to hospitals or quarantine centres.”

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In order to accommodate new COVID-19 cases, the BMC has picked a 5,000 square feet lot in front of Mahim Nature Park as a dedicated COVID-19 health facility with up to 200 beds. In addition to the work done by the civic authorities, several NGOs are also joining hands in a bid to screen and isolate patients early. Smile Foundation has reportedly sent out ambulances to hotspots with doctors as well as nurses to screen patients and direct them to civic quarantine facilities if necessary.

The BMC currently has around 3,000 beds in quarantine facilities across the area which includes private hotels and lodges in Mahim, Dadar, and Dharavi. Other quarantine facilities include the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex, Dharavi Municipal School, Manohar Joshi Vidyalay, Ruparel College Hostel, Scouts & Guides Hall, D’Silva High School, and Mahim Nature Park.