March 23, 2021 3:29:36 am
Dharavi has re-emerged as a point of concern, with its single 250-bed Covid care centre (CCC) in Vanita Samaj hall now full. On Monday G-North Ward officials decided to start two more CCCs to increase bed capacity to quarantine the local population, if cases increase exponentially.
Across Mumbai, there are 36,159 vacant beds in CCC facilities. Mumbai’s active case load has risen four-fold from 5,600 cases at the start of February, when local trains resumed operations, to over 22,000 cases. While most cases were limited to residential societies until February-end, March saw Dharavi registering a slow uptick. The slum saw less than a dozen active cases in February, which have risen to 180 now.
Daily cases have risen ten-fold from 1-3 to over 30 in the slum, forcing the ward to re-activate institutional quarantine and isolation centres. On Monday, Dharavi saw 40 new cases. Officials said a hundred more beds will be added to the already full Vanita Samaj Hall to quarantine high-risk contacts and isolate mild cases from slums.
Two more CCCs are being set up at Vanmali Hall, Dadar, and Mahim Nature Park. Vanmali will have 100 beds to house mild and asymptomatic cases and the Mahim Nature Park will start with 200 beds, that can be scaled up to 1,200 beds. It will be operate as both a quarantine facility and an isolation centre . “We are prepared to scale it up within a few days if needed. We plan to now immediately activate at least 400-500 beds,” said Dr Virendra Mohite, G-North medical officer.
Ward officials said they are tracing 15-20 people per contact. “In slums, where there are shared toilets and shared rooms, we have to shift all high-risk contacts to the CCC. Imagine how many from slums will be required to move on a daily basis,” said Dr Ashutosh Gupta, medical officer in Dharavi health post.
Dr Virendra Mohite, G-North medical officer, said the Mahim Nature Park has scope of admitting 1,200 people.
He added that increase in testing has also led to a rise in positive cases. On Monday the G-North Ward, covering Dadar, Dharavi and Mahim, tested 68 people without masks outside Dadar railway station. Seven tested positive and were shifted to institutional isolation.