Mumbai: Dadar's COVID-19 numbers set to overtake Dharavi's
Area with a largely upper-middle-class population that mostly lives in high-rises where social distancing is possible, poses a challenge for BMC, Mahim also following same trajectory
The civic body managed to control COVID-19 in the country's largest slum, Dharavi, but its increasing spread in nearby Dadar and Mahim has become a challenge. The areas mainly consist of buildings with an upper-middle-class population that has scope for social distancing. But the total caseload of the two is nearly equal to Dharavi's, while the number of active case is four times more.
The areas belong to the same ward, G North. In Dharavi, the BMC had employed tracing, tracking, testing and treating.
Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner, G North ward along with his team, had initiated proactive screening instead of waiting for patients. The success story was praised by the central government and the World Health Organization in July.
This month, the ward office has Dadar and Mahim, comprising Shivaji Park, flower and vegetable markets, and shopping hubs, on its hands. While Dharavi is reporting three to eight cases daily since July, Dadar has been reporting 30-35 daily cases on average. There are 101 active patients in Dharavi, whereas Dadar had 452 active patients as of September 8.
Unlock increased cases
"During the lockdown, residents judicially observed social distancing. There were days when there'd be zero cases in Dadar and Mahim. Even traditional markets for flowers, vegetables and shopping stores were closed. But as Unlock started, cases started increasing," said Dighavkar.
He pointed out that crowds have also increased at Shivaji Park and attributed the rise in cases to increased testing too. However, the death rate has seen a substantial decline and 80 per cent of Dadar and Mahim residents are asymptomatic.
Dighavkar said that they are trying to identify the infection at an early stage by doing maximum tests. Testing camps are being arranged in buildings every day.
Average no. of cases reported in Dadar every day
Worms found in fruit served to COVID patients
Patients at the COVID care centre in ITI College in Ulhasnagar were shocked to find insects in the fruit salad given to them on Tuesday evening. After the incident was posted on social media, officials from the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation promised to take action in the matter.
Prathamesh Bagade, 24, one of the COVID patients admitted at the isolation centre on Monday, said, "We were given some fruits in the evening. After eating a couple of apple slices, I saw that there were several worms in the papaya. The patient who was in the next bed also found worms in his fruit. When we complained, the nurse said that it was the contractor's fault," he said. Bagade added that while the staff had offered him another bowl of fruit, he felt too nauseous to eat and refused.
When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Dr Raja Dayanidhi said the matter had been brought to his attention. "We have issued a show cause notice to the contractor and once we get his explanation, we will take action accordingly," he said.
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