One more case in Dharavi, how is BMC preparing to combat this challenge

One more case in Dharavi, how is BMC preparing to combat this challenge

On Sunday, one more person from Dharavi, (which is known as India’s largest slum) tested positive.  With this new case, the total count for the area has gone up to five. There have been rumours doing the rounds that as many as 14 people in the said area have tested positive but these reports have been denied by BMC.

Even if the number continues to be at what it is said, there is always a fear looming on how will the authorities control the spread of novel coronavirus in an area densely populated as Dharavi.

Dharavi is one of the most cramped space in Mumbai as this 240-hectare slum pocket houses 850,000 residents and the population density stands at 66,000 per square kilometre. While many including experts believe that social distancing is virtually impossible in an area that is as densely populated as Dharavi, BMC is not ready to give up as yet.

As the number of cases testing positive in Dharavi are increasing, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) too is ramping up its efforts in this regards. BMC already has a containment plan in place for Dharavi,

To combat the situation at hand, Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner (health), BMC along with his team ran a house-to-house survey to ascertain the actual figure of the slum dwellers. This would help them in keeping their amenities ready in case the situation turns worse. Through this exercise, BMC has also managed to list high-risk people living with co-morbid issues such as cardiac ailments, respiratory problems, hypertension and diabetes, et al.

With this data at hand BMC is now looking for vacant places to isolate patients and vulnerable individuals. It is already been disclosed that BMC has identified Rajiv Gandhi Sports Club in Dharavi as one of the spots and they are working on turning it around into a 300-bed quarantine facility. While talking about the plan of action Kakani also shared that they are searching for hotels and other empty places that can be quickly turned into isolation wards.

Furthermore, there are 800 community health volunteers that have been trained by BMC that include 600 locals from Dharavi that will help tackle the menace. They are trained not just to counsel people but also handle people who may be infected. 

Till Friday, there were about 3,000 from this area that had been home quarantine and BMC is fully prepared to take this a notch higher if the need arises. They are on the lookout on places that can be used for isolation and prepping the same. In addition to this, they have also been disinfecting the area with sodium hypochlorite with the help of the fire department on a regular basis.   

Will all these efforts be enough? The answer to this question is something that time can only tell but at the moment the city is almost going on war footing to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread any further.