Mumbai: Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, BMC reverts to Dharavi Model

Being congested slum pockets, social distancing was not possible in Dharavi.So the BMC started 4Ts – tracing, tracking, testing and treating – which came to be known as the Dharavi model.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Tuesday, June 07, 2022, 08:42 AM IST
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BMC headquarters | Photo: Representative Image

The rise in Covid cases has pushed the BMC to implement the "Dharavi model' once again. Asia's largest slum and once a hotspot recorded nine fresh cases on Monday.

With this, the number of active cases in Dharavi has jumped to 44. By April 13, the number of active cases here had dropped to zero. The first positive patient in the slum was found on April 1, 2020, thereafter the daily Covid-19 cases rose sharply and the area was declared a hotspot.

Being congested slum pockets, social distancing was not possible in Dharavi, so controlling the spread of the virus was a challenge for the BMC. So the BMC started 4Ts – tracing, tracking, testing and treating – which came to be known as the Dharavi model. With the assistance of private doctors and community support, the G North ward managed to control the spread of the virus in Dharavi.

This strategy was praised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) during the first wave of Covid-19. The ‘Dharavi model’ and the vaccination drive also helped in successfully containing the second and the third wave in the area. In March 2022 nearly two years after reporting the first case of the infection the Dharavi became Covid free.

After April 13 the number of active cases also dropped to zero. But after 48 days on May 3, the first new case was recorded in the slum. Since April 1, 2020, Dharavi has recorded a total of 8739 Covid-19 cases and 419 deaths.

Dr. Virendra Mohite, medical health officer of G North said, "We are monitoring every positive case and its close contact through ward war room. Health staff visit the close contacts of positive patients to check if they have any symptoms. Also, the ward has ramped up a vaccination drive in the area by arranging camps, which will also be conducted in schools when it reopens. Most of the positive patients found till now are asymptomatic and are home isolated, also the recovery is faster."

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