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Covid-19: Mumbai’s Dharavi confirms 2 new cases; total now at 7

  • The new patients are relatives of a previous covid-19 case from Dr Baliga Nagar area of the slum
  • Besides four cases from Dr Baliga Nagar that include a death, Dharavi has one each from Vaibhav Apartment, Mukund Nagar, Madina Nagar

MUMBAI:

Mumbai’s Dharavi on Tuesday reported two fresh covid-19 cases, taking the total in Asia’s largest slum to seven, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

“We have already sealed Dr Baliga Nagar and quarantined all its residents. While we are aggressively testing in the area and contact tracing of new cases is in progress, we will just have to wait and watch on how the situation develops in the slum,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner at BMC, G/North ward, where Dharavi is located.

The new patients in Dharavi are relatives of a previous covid-19 case from Dr Baliga Nagar area of the slum. After a 30-year old female was tested positive for the deadly virus, her 80-year old father and 49-year old brother have also been confirmed.

Besides four covid-19 positive cases from Dr Baliga Nagar that include a death, Dharavi has an infected 35-year old doctor from Vaibhav Apartment, a 49-year old in Mukund Nagar and a 21-year old who tested positive in Madina Nagar.

On 1 April, a 56-year old man residing in Dr Baliga Nagar, slum rehabilitation society in Dharavi, succumbed to the virus. The victim showed symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory issues and had no travel history. He was moved to Sion Hospital after he complained of fever on 23 March. Doctors said the deceased had underlying conditions that led to renal failure.

The spread of the highly contagious virus in Dharavi is alarming, as it is home to over one million people who live in cramped spaces in an area that spans about 0.82 square miles. Compared to Mumbai’s population density of over 76,000 per square mile—the highest in the world, Dharavi has 8.69 lakh people per square mile, making it a potential hotspot for the spread of coronavirus.

According to the public health department of Maharashtra, there were a total of 891 cases in Maharashtra as of noon on Tuesday, making the state the worst affected by the pandemic. Separately, 23 new covid-19 cases were reported today in the state–four in Pune and two in Buldhana, three in Ahmednagar, two in Nagpur and 10 in Mumbai including those from Dharavi.

In an interview to Mint on 5 April, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said, “We have extracted people who were in close contact with covid-19 infected patients and have put them in isolation and quarantine wards, with the police and our staff monitoring them daily”.

“We have also started fever clinics across such covid-19 clusters, where we identify those with cough and cold symptoms and test their temperature, so that they can be removed from the community. Further, we are making sure people stay indoors and are being supplied all essential items like food and grocery to their doorsteps,” he added.

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