Dharavi’s fight against Coronavirus pandemic earns WHO praise

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Published: July 11, 2020 1:54 PM

Covid-19 in Dharavi, Mumbai: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded Dharavi for its efforts in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

WHO praises DharaviDharavi has a population of 650,000 spread over an area of 2.5 square km. From 12% in April, the growth rate of COVID-19 infection in Dharavi fell to 1.02% in June, according to data.

Mumbai’s Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum area, has garnered praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its efforts in limiting the coronavirus spread in the area. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a virtual press conference on Friday said even if the outbreak (COVID-19) is very intense, it can still be brought back under control. There are “many examples” one can find from around the world which have shown this. “And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi—a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai,” PTI reported Ghebreyesus as saying.

Dharavi, one of the biggest slum areas in the world, reported its first Covid-19 cases on April 1, almost three weeks after the first positive coronavirus case found in Mumbai. In the following days, Dharavi saw some spike in COVID-19 cases in the area. But against all the odds, despite being one of the densely populated areas, Dharavi managed to limit the spread, thanks to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its proactive measures like door-to-door screening, effective tracing, isolation, and aggressive testing and treatment.

Dharavi, which right in the middle of Mumbai megacity, has a population of 650,000 spread over an area of 2.5 square km. From 12% in April, the growth rate of COVID-19 infection in Dharavi fell to 1.02% in June, according to data.

Once a COVID-19 hotspot in the city, Dharavi has just 291 active COVID-19 cases; 1,815 patients have recovered/discharged from hospitals. On the other hand, Mumbai has so far reported over 88,000 COVID-19 cases and 5,129 deaths.

Ghebreyesus said only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn the COVID-19 pandemic around. PTI reported him as saying, a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating, and treating all those that are sick are keys in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. These steps help in breaking the chains of COVID-19 transmission.

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