The coronavirus reached Dharavi at the beginning of this month when a 50-year-old tested positive with the virus. The family members of the patient were put in quarantine. But since then there is a continual rise in cases which is alarming the authorities and putting them into a tough spot.
At present 4 deaths have been recorded from Dharavi and the cases are on the rise. The police, civic, and health authorities are working overtime to implement the lockdown in the 2.25 square km area. The congested area can pose a serious challenge for Maharashtra’s measures to curb coronavirus cases. Despite the lockdown, till about last week authorities noted the general nonchalance about the preventive measures. There were reports of long queues of people awaiting their turn for collecting meals being distributed by some NGOs, and though most sported masks, there was little evidence of social distancing in the queues. The streets were also teeming with people and activity in the morning and evening.
Authorities have geared up and to curb the number of cases coming from Dharavi and control the spread on the virus in the slum the Maharashtra government has deployed State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) contingents to enforce total lockdown in Dharavi and other slums in Mumbai. All movement of people has been stopped and all shops and establishments, fruit/vegetable markets or vendors, hawkers, etc, have been shut down, barring pharmacies. The Mumbai Police will also be using drones to keep a check on problematic areas. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has taken up various measures, including sanitising drives in many parts of the locality. The BMC is also working to get essentials delivered to the doorsteps to minimize the people’s interaction.
The Maharashtra government is now considering handing out anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure and might also keep suspected people in quarantine zones. Owing to the rising number the government has also decided to extend the lockdown till April 30th. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also set up 186 Corona Care Centres, 11 Dedicated Corona Health Centres and 26 Dedicated Corona Hospitals in Mumbai in order to fight the war against Coronavirus.
Source : ABP Live