Six new coronavirus cases, including one death, were reported from Dharavi on Monday, taking the total number of such cases in the city’s biggest slum to 49 since the first case was reported in the area on April 1. With this, the total number of deaths in Dharavi has gone up to five.
Samples of the 60-year-old man, who succumbed at Sion Hospital, had tested positive for coronavirus Monday, civic officials said. The five new patients include three men, aged 21, 51 and 60 years, and two women, aged 34 and 50 years.
The 21-year-old man works as a ward boy at Breach Candy hospital, while the 34-year-old woman is a nurse at Sushrusha hospital in Dadar. On April 7, the Breach Candy Hospital authorities had initiated testing for all its staffers after a nurse and a technician had tested positive for coronavirus. Two nurses, aged 27 and 42, of the Sushrusha hospital had tested positive for the virus on April 10.
With the recent death and five new cases, all from separate chawls, the number of containment zones in Dharavi has gone up to 16. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sanitised the residential premises of all the patients and has restricted entry and exit from these areas. The civic body has also started the process of contact-tracing in all cases.
As a part of its massive ongoing contact-tracing exercise, the BMC has already traced 1,381 high-risk contacts and 3,450 low-risk contacts of 74 COVID19 patients in the G-North ward, comprising Dharavi, Dadar and Mahim. Of these 74 cases, the highest number of cases are from Dharavi at 49. As of Monday, BMC has put 2,184 citizens to home quarantine from the ward, which has 29 containment zones. “Of the 74 COVID-19 positive cases, 31 or 42 per cent were already in institutional quarantine. Which means we are able to stop the spread in 42 per cent cases,” Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, G-North ward, under which Dharavi is located, said.
Meanwhile, the ongoing process to screen around seven lakh residents of the slum is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, BMC officials said. Till Monday, 13,224 persons have been surveyed, 113 suspected cases have been referred for tests, and 85 swabs have been collected from Dharavi.
“The door-to-door screening is being done by a team of 150 doctors from Maharashtra Medical Association along with BMC workers. We have formed 10 teams to screen all residents in Dharavi. We are using 500 sets of personal protection equipment (PPE), 2,000 masks and 18 thermal scanners for the purpose,” Dighavkar said.
Around 225 public or community toilets in the slum are also being disinfected daily with a special treatment solution and machine that has been imported from New Zealand, officials said.
The civic body has already planned a 1,000-bed quarantine facility at Dharavi — 300 beds at Rajiv Gandhi District Sports Club and the remaining 700 at the Dharavi transit camp municipal school. Half of the beds at Sports Club are occupied, while 70 beds at Ruparel College hostel and 30 at Sai hospital in Mahim are also being used as institutional quarantine facilities.
BMC planning to allow more fruit, vegetable vendors across city
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Monday ordered all assistant municipal commissioners of 24 wards to find temporary places where fruit and vegetable vendors can set up shop and social distancing can be maintained. According to officials, new centres will come up in spacious locations where a distance of 20 feet can be maintained between each vendor and buyers can keep a minimum distance of 3.5 feet. “Local ward offices will soon come up with a list of places where these new vegetables and fruit shops can be set up. These shops should strictly follow guidelines of social distancing otherwise they can be shut immediately. The idea is to reduce the crowds from municipal or other markets where despite a lot of efforts, people have failed to maintain social distancing,” said a civic official. There will be a time restriction at these new centres.
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