On his first day in office after taking charge as the Mumbai municipal commissioner, Iqbal Singh Chahal asked officials to ramp up contact-tracing in slum pockets, implement isolation aggressively and move more high-risk contacts to institutional quarantine.
After an on-spot assessment of arrangements in Dharavi, Chahal along with additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani spoke to G/north ward’s health staff involved in contact-tracing in the slum pockets. Chahal asked officials to classify Covid-19 patients into those from housing societies and slum pockets.
“Classify the patients and if possible suggest home quarantine in cases where it’s possible. If not, shift more people in institutional quarantine,” said Chahal.
After cases started being detected in Dharavi and other slum pockets of Mumbai, the sheer population density of these areas has sparked fears of community transmission. In Dharavi alone, there are 833 cases including 27 deaths, with roughly
8.5 lakh people cramped in a 2.4 sq km area.
Advocating aggressive isolation and institutional quarantine, Chahal visited Mukund Nagar and Shastri Nagar inside Dharavi, which accounts for highest number of cases from the area, and spoke to the residents. Chahal asked the police personnel there to implement the lockdown strictly. The first case from Dharavi was reported on April 1 from Mukund Nagar, which has been sealed since then.
On Saturday, the newly appointed municipal commissioner also visited Nair hospital in Mumbai Central, the biggest Covid-19 facility. Chahal, putting on a PPE suit, met Covid-19 patients admitted in the hospital and inquired about doctors’ visit, food and medicines among others. He asked the doctors, nurses and other staff to raise any issue that needs to be addressed.
At the epicentre of the pandemic, the city has so far reported 12,142 cases and 462 deaths. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday transferred Praveen Pardeshi as additional chief secretary to the Urban Development department. Chahal, who was holding the Urban Development secretary’s post, succeeded Pardeshi as Mumbai’s new civic chief.
On Saturday, former managing director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, Ashwini Bhide, and former Thane civic commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal also took charge as the two new additional municipal commissioners replacing Jaishree Bhoj and Abbasaheb Jarhad, who were also transferred by Thackeray on Friday.
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