While areas like Dharavi, Worli-Koliwada grabbed all the attention as coronavirus cases started surging across the city, at the other end of the city, Malad is rapidly witnessing a burgeoning number of cases in past three weeks.
Cases in the P (North) ward, where Malad is located, have more than doubled to 3,966 as on June 24, as compared to 1,049 on May 27. Currently, the count of active cases in the ward stands 2,494, which is the highest in the city. Followed by K (East) ward or Andheri (East), which has the second-highest number of active cases, at 2385.
The ward has the highest population in Mumbai, with around 10 lakh people spread over Malvani, MHADA compound, Marve Road in the west and Kurar village, Pathanwadi, Dutt Mandir road and Pushpa Park in East, among other areas.
Until May P North ward was lauded for managing to keep coronavirus spread at bay despite having one of the city’s largest slums --- Malvani.
However by the end of May, the situation started spinning out of control, the number of infection cases started growing exponentially. As on May 27, P (North) ward had registered a growth rate of 8.5%, the second-highest in the city. By June 5, it became the fastest growing ward in the city, at 6.8%. On June 9 too, the ward reported the highest case growth rate in Mumbai at 5.9%.
After realising that 70% of cases in P (North) ward are from slums like Konkani Pada, Santosh Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Tanaji Nagar AppaPada, etc. And 30% of cases emerged are from residential societies in areas like Malvani Gate No. 8, Nagri Nuwara, Madh, MHB Colony, Somwar Bazaar.
"Since the past 15-20days, there was a complete lockdown at Appapada and Kokanipada areas in Malad East and the results were good. The number of cases went down. Hence we decided to impose stringent containment measures in other affected areas," said senior BMC official.