In apparent signs of flattening of the coronavirus curve, Mumbai’s Dharavi, believed to be Asia’s largest slum and also a coronavirus hotspot in the city, has reported not a single COVID-19 death in the last six days while 939 of the total 1,899 patients have recovered, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials said on Sunday.
34 people had tested positive for coronavirus on June 1 and the number has now come down to 10, he said.
“Dharavi has not reported a single death in the last six days, which is the first major indicator that we are on the right track. The number of people getting discharged is also increasing,” Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G North Ward of BMC, Kiran Dighavkar said.
“Dharavi area has reported 71 deaths so far. But the real change is (reflected) in the daily testing of samples. A total of 34 people had tested positive for coronavirus on June 1 which has now come down to 10,” Mr Dighavkar said.
This development comes at a time when Mumbai has been reporting a rise in cases and deaths. As of June 6, Mumbai’s tally of COVID-19 cases stood at 47,354 cases and 1,577 deaths as Maharashtra surpassed China’s total count of cases.
Meanwhile, Mr Dighavkar attributed the lower number of cases to aggressive screening and testing of suspected cases in Dharavi with activation of fever clinics.
“With the help of fever clinics, we could identify the people showing symptoms similar to that of coronavirus infection. We isolated them immediately which helped in either containing further transmission of the virus or spreading any kind of infection from those who are feeling unwell,” he said.
Dharavi in central Mumbai had reported the first coronavirus case on April 1, almost a week after the national lockdown came into force.
Since then, the area has became a focal point as it is home to many small-scale industries. Dharavi is also a major supplier of informal labour.
Other BMC officials said the largescale exodus of people during the lockdown could have also contributed to lower number of cases.
“Dharavi offers jobs to hundreds of thousands of people. With continued extensions to the lockdown, a sizable number of people have left the slum for their homes. This helped us in ensuring physical distancing to some extent,” an official said.
He also thanked NGOs and corporate houses for providing food, medicines and medical equipment during the crisis.