Member of Parliament from Mumbai South Central Constituency and Shiv Sena leader, on Tuesday, wrote to Union Minister of Health and family welfare Dr Harshavardhan, urging him to allow vaccination for all in Asia's largest slum - Dharavi. Shewale in his letter stated that Dharavi needs vaccination for all before it turns into a Covid hotspot once again.
Shewale said: "Last year Dharavi became a Covid 19 hotspot and it took great efforts and day and nights hard work to bring down the cases and it became a model. However, the number of cases is rising once again becoming a cause of concern."
He added: "Dharavi which started recording case in single-digit and even zero cases multiple times before February 2021, has suddenly witnessed surge align with neighbouring areas. Since March 1, the area has recorded more than 1,600 positive Covid-19 cases.
Healthcare workers, BMC staff and researchers have been working day and night on the situation in Dharavi - Asia's largest slum where people mostly use community toilets and social distancing was an impossible thing to follow in the most densely populated slums in the world.
Dharavi, which is spread over a 2.5 sq km area and houses nearly 6.5 lakh people, reported its first coronavirus case on April 1, 2020 nearly 3 weeks after Mumbai recorded its 1st positive case on March 11, 2020. It later emerged as a prominent Covid-19 hotspot in the city, before the cases were successfully brought under control with coordinated efforts by various stakeholders.
Various agencies worldwide, including World Health Organisation (WHO) and the most recent World Bank, has praised the civic body for its efficient pandemic management in congested areas like Dharavi, known as Asia's largest slum. The Dharavi model has been followed worldwide in areas that are congested and where social distancing is not possible due to the dense population.
On December 25, 2020, a total of 3788 covid 19 cases were reported in Asia’s largest small scale industry hub and congested slum, 3,464 patients have recovered from the virus. The number of active cases then were Dharavi 12. Today as the number of the case is on a massive surge the cumulative caseload of Dharavi has jumped to 5774 of which 1035 are active cases. Worried looking at the speed at which numbers of cases are being detected in the congested slums of Dharavi, Shewale has urged that vaccination is the only way to win the battle.