In contrast to many of its counterparts, R (central) ward which constitutes of Borivali has recorded more cases in non-slum areas than dense slum pockets. The civic officials have also claimed that the ward which had less than 50 cases till April 24, is now witnessing a rapid spike in the number of positive cases as more and more frontline workers are falling prey to the deadly virus.
According to the data shared by the ward officials, the ward had only 56 cases as on April 26, however, the number of cases have jumped to 146 as on May 9. With a population of around 6 lakh people R (central) ward has set a contrasting trend with 60 per cent of positive cases reported from affluent localities instead of dense slums pockets or chawls.
According to the civic officials, most of those involved in the essential duties, the frontline workers are now getting infected, due to which their families are getting infected too which in turn spreads in their neighbourhood.
"In the last couple of days alteast five doctors, around 10 nurses, four BMC workers were tested positive for Covid19 and their family members were infected too. This has led to a rise in the number of cases in R (central) ward. We have around 36 cases where the patients were undergoing some other treatment in hospitals when they contracted the disease. While all the 16 deaths which are so far reported from the area were all immunocompromised people. One girl who succumbed to COVID19 was admitted to the hospital after she attempted suicide, during her treatment she contracted the disease and died," Bhagyashree Kapse, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R (Central) Ward told the Free Press Journal.
The area has also seen a mad rush for Covid19 tests, which too led to the increase in tally. "For the symptomatic patients testing is ok but testing without symptoms is risky as it might lead to infection," said a civic official.
"The ward has 40% slums in which four slums Kajupada, Rupvate Nagar, Magathane and Rai Dongri have been declared as red zones. We have shifted the high-risk contacts of covid 19 patients to institutional quarantine centres. Currently, around 700 have been shifted to a quarantine centre in Charkop and maximum positive cases from slum pockets were detected through contact tracing," said Kapse
She added, "In slums, we even carried out a health survey for senior citizens to check their SPO2 levels (Oxygen level in Blood) of more than 10000 senior citizen. So far 24 people in the ward were found with less than 95 % of SPO2 level, they were given the required treatment. Boundaries of slum pockets have been sealed however residents find a way out and are seen roaming outside freely risking theirs and others lives.
BJP corporator from ward number 13 Vidyarthi Singh said, "BMC should focus more on slum pockets and shelter for civic workers. There is no proper sanitation in slum areas, places and quality of food provided to stranded workers is also poor."