The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has de-sealed Baliga Nagar, the first containment zone in Dharavi after a 56-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus on April 1, with no new cases reported from the area since April 7. The 56-year-old had died the same day.
The man, the first Covid-19 victim in Dharavi, was from Baliga Nagar, one of the few areas in Asia’s largest slum with highrises. Subsequently, five coronavirus cases were recorded in Baliga Nagar, all contacts of the 56-year-old man. The area was de-sealed by the BMC last week after no new cases were reported over the last 21 days.
Cases in Mukund Nagar have also been contained and are now steadily declining. A Covid-19 hotspot, the area had 61 active cases as of Thursday. Even as certain containment zones have been declared safe, the number of infected persons crossed 1,000 on Wednesday in Dharavi. On Friday, 84 new cases were reported, totalling 1,145 cases so far.
Five slum pockets in Dharavi have been marked as red zones. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, G-north ward, said, “Since the first case in Dharavi was detected, we focused on three main components — containment strategy, comprehensive testing and uninterrupted food and essential supplies. In addition, the G-north ward also launched a 12-hour helpline number to help people contact BMC for food, grocery, transportation and stay.”
Four lakh people have been screened in Dharavi. As many as 47,500 people were screened in high-risk zones. As of Thursday, hotspots or high-risk zones in Dharavi have increased to 18 from five on April 25, with highest cases at 108 from Matunga Labour Camp, followed by 68 at Kumbha-rwada. Four hotspots — Matunga Labour Camp, 90 ft road, Dharavi Cross Road, Kunchi Korve Nagar, which are showing a rise in cases — are the focus areas of the BMC.