After showing a downward trend and slowing down the growth rate of COVID-19 cases, two institutional isolation centres in Dharavi were cleared and closed. The two isolation centres, having bed capacity of 1,000, were closed after a decline in the number of patients.
"We have closed three institutional isolation centres in G (North) Ward. Of these, two are in Dharavi. The number of patients has gone down and we have enough bed capacity for the active cases left and their high-risk contacts," Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of G (North) ward told the Free Press Journal.
The two institutional isolation centres that have been closed include the Rajiv Gandhi Sports complex, which has a bed capacity of 300, and Dharavi Municipal School, which has a bed capacity of 700.
After the first COVID-19 case that was reported from Dr Baliga Nagar on April 1, Dharavi soon became a cause of global concern— with nearly a million people living with poor sanitation in a 2.5-kilometre area. Maintaining physical distancing was impossible.
A slew of steps taken by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with maximum testing and maximum isolation of COVID-19 positive patients and their high-risk contacts under 'Mission Dharavi' helped Dharavi, known as Asia's largest slum to contain the spread of the infectious disease to a large extent.
As on July 2, the count of COVID-19 cases in G (north) ward that constitutes Dharavi, Dadar and Mahim stands at 4,967, of which only 1,412 cases are currently active, and 3,185 have already been cured and discharged. Of the 4,967 cases, 2,301 cases were recorded from Dharavi alone.
"Team 'Mission Dharavi' has worked day and night to contain the spread, while physical distancing was almost impossible in the area. We adopted the strategy of isolating the maximum number of people, as isolation at home was not possible for them. The strategy worked and the number of cases started reducing, while the recovery rate started increasing. Today, we hardly have 23 per cent of active cases in Dharavi. Majority have already been cured and discharged. The number of beds required for isolating people too went down. Hence, we closed down two isolation centres," Dighavkar added.
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