Coronavirus outbreak in Mumbai: BMC seals major Dahisar slum as cases spike

Updated: May 11, 2020, 12:48 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Positive cases go from two to seven in Ganpat Patil Nagar in just one week

Residents being checked for COVID-19 symptoms
Residents being checked for COVID-19 symptoms

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Ganpat Patil Nagar, a huge slum in Dahisar's Navagaon, rising to seven from just two in a week, the BMC has swung into action to prevent the infections from skyrocketing like it happened in Dharavi. It has sealed the area and deployed health workers to screen the residents.

After recording four new cases on Saturday, the civic body closed the New Link Road, preventing entry and exit to the huge slum in Dahisar, and has requested that the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) be brought in to enforce the stay-at-home order.

The Ganpat Patil Nagar, which is spread across 50 acres, mushroomed in the past decade and already has a population of over 50,000. Two cases were found in the locality a week ago and on Sunday, the tally rose to seven.

The BMC has started frequently sanitising the toilets, small and narrow lanes and bringing in mobile toilets so as to keep the number of people sharing the toilets as low as possible.

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant municipal commissioner of R North ward under which the slum falls, told mid-day, "We are doing our best to prevent the transmission of the disease. We are constantly creating awareness among the people in the slum, asking them to remain indoors. However, around 10-15 per cent of the population are still not listening. So, we have requested for SRPF for intense patrolling inside the lanes."

The civic body has allowed the essentials shops to open for residents and will send tankers for water. "There are 14 main lanes in the slum and each is being sanitised daily, along with the toilets there. We have also started conducting a survey to identify patients with symptoms so they can be quarantined," Nandedkar said.

Local corporator Tejasvi Ghosalkar, too, has swung into action and roped in volunteers for door-to-door primary health screening.

Meanwhile, BMC is also setting up 15 Fibre Reinforced Plastic portable toilets for suspected COVID-19 patients. Temporary medical screening booths have been set up in the slum and people showing symptoms of the respiratory disease will be immediately taken to the hospital by the volunteers.

"Those testing positive are being admitted to COVID-19- hospital for treatment, while people whose report come back negative but have symptoms are being taken to the facility for institutional-quarantine at an MMRDA building in Dahisar's Kandarpada," said Abhishek Ghosalkar, former coporator from the locality.

Four volunteers each have been appointed for the 14 lanes in the slum. "All the 56 volunteers are residents of the slum, but have been given training with the help of BMC to conduct door-to-door thermal reading and oximeter check-up. If anybody's oxygen level is lower than normal, they are taken to the local health booth for further check-up," Ghosalkar added.

So far, 25,000 people have been examined at the primary health check-up counters and more than 5,000 tests have been done since the lockdown was imposed.

So far 50 people have been sent to the institutional quarantine facility.

Approx population in the slum

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