Philippines govt to follow Dharavi model to contain spread of virus in the country

MUMBAI: Rattled by the number of Covid-19 cases surfacing in its slums, the Philippines government has sought BMC’s help to share details of the 'Dharavi Model' to contain the virus spread there. Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum managed to successfully flatten the Covid-19 curve despite its high population density.

BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said that they had shared the details and 'blueprint' of the ‘Dharavi model’ and the 'chase the virus' policy with the Philippines government's health department.

The Dharavi model involves a proactive approach including early detection, hospitalisation, treatment, and testing to limit the spread of Covid-19. BMC organised fever camps, door-to-door surveys, used private clinics and a maximum number of people were sent to institutional isolation.

Chahal said, “This is recognition of our effort to contain the outbreak. Earlier, India was following the model of other countries but now other countries have taken notice of our fight. BMC’s Chase the Virus Policy has shown the world the way to fight Covid-19. We will not lower our guard and continue our efforts.”

Mumbai's doubling rate has increased to 86 days. The growth rate of cases is 0.79% and recovery rate is 81%. Mumbai has done 6.6 lakh tests till August 18. Chahal said, “There are 17,800 active cases in Mumbai, and symptomatic patients in hospitals are 5,388 and 7,500 plus Covid beds are vacant.”

Dharavi has seen cases in single digits for the past few days, and its curve flattened by the end of June. This is in contrast with the number of cases that were being reported in a single day in May, when cases in Dharavi peaked. On May 3, it recorded its single-day highest number of cases at 94. While the total number of Covid-19 cases in Dharavi touched 2,676, it has 84 active cases currently. The doubling rate in Dharavi is 269 days, and growth rate is 0.27%.

He also shared a news report from Philippine Daily Inquirer that reads: “The DOH declared that it would follow the successful Dharavi-Mumbai campaign conceptualised by Assistant Municipal Commissioner Kiran Dighavkar. Dharavi in India is Asia’s largest slum where the Hollywood movie Slumdog Millionaire was shot. It has a total population of 1 million within a 2.5-square-kilometer area. This means eight to 10 people in a 9-square-meter area.”

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Free Press Journal