Dharavi becomes role model to contain COVID-19, says Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
BL Soni

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Saturday, said the Dharavi model has emerged as a role model globally in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It has shown that the virus can be controlled through self-discipline and collective efforts. Thackeray reacted after the World Health Organisation (WHO) hailed the Dharavi success story.

As one of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi’s recovery rate has gone up to 82 per cent. Today, the number of active cases is only 166. The seven day average doubling rate is now 384 days, while the seven day average of growth rate is 0.36%.

Thackeray lauded the concerted efforts of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and residents and commended them for their efforts to control the virus. “Collective efforts have helped to break the virus chain, including the active involvement of locals and measures such as tracing, tracking, testing and isolation of COVID-19 patients. Dharavi is heading towards becoming a coronavirus-free area,’’ he said.

Thackeray said Dharavi houses a large number of leather, pottery and textile units. There are 5,000 registered traders in the area. It is also seen as a hub of international exports.

Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray admitted that preventing the spread of the virus in the densely populated Dharavi slums was a challenging task. “80 per cent of the population uses 450 communal toilets. Most of the population is dependent on outside food. Eight to ten people live here in a 10 by 10 housing unit, observing physical distance. It was not possible to quarantine the patient at home. However, the virus was contained because of effective implementation of Chase the Virus campaign in the area,’’ he noted.

According to Aaditya, a record 3.5 lakh Dharavi residents from 47,500 homes were screened with the engagement of doctors and private dispensaries. Nearly 14,970 were screened through mobile vans and 14,000 were isolated in the institutional quarantine facilities.

WHO’s acknowledgement of COVID-19 containment strategies come days after the Centre had hailed tracing, tracking, testing and treating by the state government and municipal authorities. The Centre further said that in order to strengthen the health infrastructure, the BMC should involve private hospitals for treatment.

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