Mumbai: BMC to Screen Dharavi Residents Yet Again as COVID Cases Increase

Mumbai: BMC to Screen Dharavi Residents Yet Again as COVID Cases Increase

With Dharavi’s COVID-19 cases more than doubling in a period of seven days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started screening the entire population of the slum cluster. This comes as a similar screening was conducted in the region during the early months of the pandemic in April 2020. 

Official sources suggest that Dharavi’s population is around 7 lakh. However, real-world estimates indicate that it could be around 8.5 lakh including migrants. 

On February 28, Dharavi had a COVID-19 case count of 28. However, the figure had touched 64 by the 1st of March. With this in mind, BMC officials have said that they will follow the same drill as last year to screen residents of Dharavi.

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Assistant Municipal Commissioner of the G-North ward, Kiran Dighavkar said, “Since the past two days, our teams have started visiting homes of locals and checking their oxygen levels and body temperature. Those found with any symptoms are being tested immediately.”

Civic officials in the region have said that nine civic health posts in the area have been converted into testing centres to enhance the testing drive. This allows officials to immediately test symptomatic patients rather than keeping them in isolation or quarantine. 

Also readCOVID-19 Testing Increased In Dharavi Once Again

Civic health workers on the site have reportedly been told by the locals that they are concerned about being quarantined as it may cost them their jobs. “With everything almost open now, many of Dharavi’s residents too are expected to report to their workplaces. They are therefore afraid of being quarantined as they fear a pay cut or even a job loss,” a civic official said.

Officials are also deploying mobile vans at multiple localities which allows locals to get tested nearby. Dharavi is known for several small-scale businesses involved in textile, leather, and pottery, usually involving a large number of migrants.   

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