Fear of community spread hovers over slums
Fear of community spread hovers over slums
(PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad)

Mumbai: Located at the southern tip of the city, A ward of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) area has a population of 1.70 lakh. Divided into three zones (225, 226 and 227), the ward has recorded total 349 cases. The numbers of positive cases doubled within three weeks after BMC's last official data on May 6 showed 127 cases.

The A ward comprises of Fort, Colaba and Churchgate. Being closer to the sea, A ward has a heterogeneous population as on one side it houses city's one of the poshest residents while on the other side, it houses the cluster of slums comprising mainly of the Koli community. There are 41 containment zones and five COVID-19 hotspots in the ward.

However, the local corporators and administrations have stated, there are more cases in the slums and there is a need for aggressive testing which is not being done yet.

Social distancing is almost impossible in the slums, due to which community spread has already started over there. "Community spread has already begun in the slums.

The number of cases is increasing every day and unless tests are done in a more aggressive manner, the numbers won't come down," said Harshita Narwekar, BJP corporator, A ward. "Team of government hospitals is coming in every two days to conduct tests at the slums.

The results also take time to come out, the whole process is taking time and the numbers won't come down unless tests are done more aggressively" added Narwekar. A ward has 12 quarantine facilities, of which 10 of them are institutional facilities.

There are 10 slums which are present in the containment zones and as many as 978 high-risk patients are there in the slums. "The government should have decongested the slums, the slum areas are congested and those who live there always at high risk." said BJP corporator, Makarand Narwekar.

"The virus didn't spread in the residential areas of Marine Drive and Churchgate as people over there are adhering to the lockdown rules, however, more cases are ought to come out from the slums if tests are done more aggressively" he added.

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