Scenes outside the Sai Dham hospital
Scenes outside the Sai Dham hospital
BL Soni - FPJ

On Friday, 13 employees of the Sai Dham temple that is located Western Express Highway in Kandivali East in Mumbai were tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

According to information provided to Free Press Journal from the temple’s trust, the employees who were infected were part of the team that provided food and essentials from Day 1 of the lockdown.

"They were living in the temple quarters hence we suspect they contracted the disease while on the field, distributing food. They have been using masks and gloves. This is very unfortunate for all of us. We hope they recover soon," said one the trustees of Saidham temple charitable trust.

However, this has left residents of slums areas who collected food from them and security guarding the temple worried.

"They lived in the temple premises and their swab tests were collected after a few of them reported mild symptoms. We have traced their close contacts. Since they lived in the temple, there are hardly any high-risk contacts. We are now tracing those who were served food recently in the nearby slums and the security outside the temple too will be tested," Sanjay Kurhade, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R (South) ward told the Free Press Journal.

Kuharde said that all 13 people have been shifted to a COVID Care Centres 2 (CCC2) (for Asymptomatic positives/ those with mild symptoms) facility at Sai Nagar in Kandivali (East).

In just 20 days, the number cases in BMC's R (South) ward that constitute Kandivali and a small part of Borivali has steadily increased by 30 per cent. The ward which is a mix of affluent areas and slum areas has reported 80 per cent of cases from slum areas.The wards current count is at moderate 307. However, a steady rise is still a concern as cases are surging in slum pockets.

More than 60 percent of ward comprises of slum population.

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