In a sudden wave of paranoia about the hygiene standards of the house helps given their cramped homes and peak hour commutes, residents and owners of affluent residential societies and bungalows in BMC's D ward have now started getting their house helps tested for coronavirus infection.
Following this, more than 10 people working as house helps and maids have been tested positive for coronavirus in last 10 days in D ward that constitutes of high profile and posh addresses such as Malabar Hill, Napean Sea Road, Walkeshwar and Breach Candy. The trend has now raised concerns among civic officials who now fear that this might lead to a massive spread in the slum pockets of the ward with maids and house helps getting infected.
D ward initially had patients who had travelled abroad in the past couple of months or had come in contact with relatives or acquaintances having foreign travel history. This trend then gradually changed, there had been cases where drivers and security guards contracted the disease through their employers.
However, a major setback in D ward was when temporary closure and sealing of top city hospitals like Jaslok and Bhatia happened. Shockingly, a large number of frontline workers including doctors and nurses had fallen prey to the deadly Coronavirus.
Fearing the spread of Covid-19 among drivers, security guards and even house helps, BMC has suggested housing societies across Mumbai ban their entry in the premises. Many housing societies then banned the entry of house helps in the premises. However, many affluent societies and those owning a bungalow never stopped house helps and continued to take their services. These people travel during peak hours, contract the disease in the process. They go back home to cramped slum pockets and infect others. This might lead to a spike in the number of cases, especially in the slum pockets, we fear, " said a senior BMC official.
When contacted Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D ward said, "We have done contact tracing of those tested positive and have already begun containment efforts as per the protocol. We are ensuring the outbreak contained."
On Friday, 30 new cases were reported in D ward, taking the tally of positive Covid-19 cases in the ward to 810 including 45 deaths.
D ward initially had over 85 containment zones. However, 406 people have been cured and discharged as on May 22 revealed data from BMC.
Currently, the D ward has around 25 buildings/areas which have been designated as containment zones in areas such as Walkeshwar, Peddar Road, Tardeo, Peddar and Opera House etc.