Pankaj Upadhyay

Mumbai: BMC implements Dharavi model to control coronavirus cases in new hotspot

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While the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) and the state government are being appreciated for their efforts in successfully controlling the coronavirus numbers in the Dharavi area, the fact remains that the struggle for the authorities in the financial capital is far from over. The newest headache for the BMC is the areas in North Mumbai where the Covid-19 growth rate has touched the 3.6% mark.

At least six wards which are seeing an alarming number of cases are under the BMC radar. These include areas like Boriwali, Kandiwali, Malad, Dahisar, Mulund, Vikroli and Kanjurmarg. The EPID (electronic portal imaging device) Cell data shows that against the overall Mumbai average of 1.72%, many areas in North Mumbai are registering growth rate of new cases between 2.6% to 3.6%. The EPID cell data further shows how the doubling rate in seven wards is less than 30 days.

Not willing to take any chances, the BMC has already put into place the Dharavi model for North Mumbai. It has activated its team that has started conducting door to door surveys. Private doctors are also being roped in to help in the testing.

Talking to India Today, a BMC official said that extra attention will have to be paid to the densely populated areas and door to door survey would help the civic body trace symptomatic cases in a more comprehensive fashion. “The surveys are underway to ensure that there is adequate testing and aid for the individuals in the densely populated areas that are more susceptible to infection,” said the official.

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal told India Today TV that the government has already ordered 1 Lakh Rapid Antigen Test kits worth Rs 4.5 crores. “These kits which would enable the test results within 30 minutes are expected to reach Mumbai in the next few days and would help BMC in testing better,” said Chahal.

From June 21 itself BMC has enhanced the contact tracing exercise. To make the exercise fool proof it has decided that in the case of a coronavirus patient traced in a redeveloped high rise, the entire building will be sealed instead of a single floor. The containment zone rules have been made more stringent as well. The need for social distancing is being emphasised as well.

But while the struggle continues, by and large Mumbai is witnessing a positive change. On June 10, 4,633 tests were conducted and 1,519 cases were found positive. On 15th June 3,370 test were conducted and 1,022 were found coronavirus positive. On June 20, 4,265 tests showed 1,153 positive cases. The test results of June 23 showed 819 positive cases with test count of 4,518. Just a month back on May 24, the test number of 4,599 the count of positive cases stood at 1,722. This is a clear indicator that the testing has increased and the cases are coming down as well.

On June 23, the count of active cases was 28,548 and the recovered numbers stood at 37,010. A few days back this wasn’t the case as the count of recovered patients in the city was less than the active cases. The recovery rate too has improved in Mumbai. From 45% on May 30, it has jumped to 53% on June 23.

However, BMC has not stopped its aggressive drive amid all the positive data. The death rate on June 15 stood at 3.79% but increased to 5.69% on June 23. The total count of coronavirus cases in Mumbai now stand at 70, 878 and the death count stands at 4,062.

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