Coronavirus in Mumbai: Slums a big worry for BMC as S Ward reports 53 containment zones on May 13
Bhushan Koyande

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) S-ward of eastern Mumbai, which comprises Bhandup (east and west), Vikroli (east and west), Kanjurmarg (east) and Powai, has about 53 containment zones as on dated May 13. Astonishingly, these containment zones are largely found in slum clusters, which is also the biggest task before the corporation. A few slums, which have been lately sealed, include Phule Nagar, Tagor Nagar, Khindipada, and Sonapur.

Santoshkumar Dhonde, assistant municipal commissioner (AMC) of this ward, told the Free Press Journal, "I have increased the contact tracing of high risk COVID-19 patients. Like, for instance, we are contacting at least 16 people if a high risk patient is identified in the slums. They are quarantined so as to prevent further spread of virus. This method will be extensively helpful to contain the virus in slums."

The S-ward has a 2,000-bed capacity for CC1(for critical high risk patients) isolation centre and about a 600-bed capacity facility for CC2 (non-critical patients), the official informed. He added that the CC2 facility has been made by acquiring private high rises. Moreover, if need arises, the ward is also planning to acquire a company to set up a quarantine facility. As of date, there are a total of 455 COVID-19 patients, out of which 129 people have been discharged and 11 people succumbed due to the virus.

Sarika Pawar, one of the 14 corporators in this ward, said, "Since this ward has several densely populated slum clusters, the civic body should conduct medical camps. We cannot wait for patients to be diagnosed at the hospital. Right now, we are conducting camps by coordinating with local doctors, wherein a list is made and the names of those found with any symptoms are being forwarded to the BMC for testing."

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