Slum areas pose difficulty in quarantine
Slum areas pose difficulty in quarantine
(PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad)

Mumbai The H-East ward of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is one of the wards with a high number of slums in the east side of Santacruz, Khar and Bandra, where cluster cases of COVID-19 have been largely reported.

With over 313 positive cases recorded till April 29, it stands on the top 10 list of Coronavirus-hit wards, which has over 58 containment zones.

An official said, of the 313 cases recorded in this ward, 23 cases came out positive on Wednesday, with a previous record of 290 cases. Of the fresh 23 cases, 16 contracted COVID-19 due to contact cases.

This ward has a population of over 60% migrant workers, labourers and daily wage earners, who share a similar residential area with health workers like nurses and ward boys. With over 5.79 lakh population under its belt, the area comes under the BMC ward numbers 87 to 96.

Some of the major containment zones recorded in this ward are Government Colony, Sankalp Siddhivinayak Building Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, municipal councillor of Ward 86 said, "The civic team has been working extraordinarily and regular check-ups of people who show mildest of symptoms like cough, cold and fever are immediately tested and taken to medical camps."

Since home quarantine is not feasible in slum areas where people use common toilets, they are placed at a hotel for quarantine purposes, added Mahadeshwar.

The most challenging areas in H East ward are slums in Golibar Naka, Behrampada and Bharat Nagar, where a number of cluster cases have been recorded, said Haji Mohammed Halim Khan, municipal councillor of Ward No 96.

While civic officials regularly check if the social distancing norms are adhered to, it poses a huge question for a family of 10-15 staying in a small room. While only 117 positive cases were recorded in H-East ward till April 16, it took a huge leap in the couple of weeks that followed, with 313 positive cases recorded on April 29.

When The Free Press Journal contacted Ashok Khairnar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of H-East ward, he flatly refused to divulge any details on the number of cases reported till date and declined to share information on the efforts taken by the civic officials to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

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