5 more test positive for coronavirus in Dharavi; area tally rises to 22 cases, 3 deaths

5 more test positive for coronavirus in Dharavi; area tally rises to 22 cases, 3 deaths
Since the lockdown failed to have the desired effect in Dharavi, Mumbai Police has stopped all movement in 10 localities by declaring them ‘red zones’ and the state is set to deploy SRPF contingents to enforce total lockdown

The total number of coronavirus cases in Mumbai’s Dharavi area jumped to 22 on Thursday after five more people tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the officials, the five persons include two women. One of them is a 29-year-old wife of a surgeon who had tested positive in Vaibhav Nagar last week. The other is a 31-year-old resident of the Kalyanwadi locality

The patients also include two men who returned from the religious gathering at Nizamuddin last month.

“Two people who figure in the list of police who returned from Markaz (Tablighi Jamaat”s event at its headquarters in Nizamuddin, Delhi) were also found positive,” said a senior BMC official.

One of them is a resident of Dr. Baliga Nagar, while the other is from the PMGP colony. “Both were already quarantined at the Rajiv Gandhi sports complex and have been now taken to hospital,” the official said.

The fifth patient is a 51-year-old from Murugan chawl. The infection has claimed at least three lives in the area so far.

Dharavi, home to over a million people and among the most congested areas in the city, is a ticking time-bomb in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet, despite the obvious risks and enforced lockdown, most people in Dharavi can be seen roaming the streets and moving around in a carefree manner.

Now, in a bid to mitigate the spread of the virus in the area, the Maharashtra government is set to deploy the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) contingents to enforce total lockdown.

“While the Mumbai Police is already doing a good job, there is a need to further tighten the lockdown in Dharavi and other congested localities (slums) to arrest the spread of coronavirus,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

Officials will also be monitoring the area via drones to check on lockdown violations and identify problem areas.

As of yesterday, Mumbai Police and health authorities have tightened the lockdown in Dharavi by declaring 10 localities as ‘red zones’ in the 2.25 sq. km area.

In these zones, all movement of people has been stopped and all shops and establishments, fruit/vegetable markets or vendors, hawkers, etc, have been shut down. Only pharmacies have been allowed to remain open.

Meanwhile, the BMC has undertaken mass sanitisation of the area and decided to test a vast majority of people in the area for COVID-19 infection. It also plans to come up with a scheme for doorstep delivery of essentials shortly.

On a related note, the total number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 1,364 on Thursday after 229 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Of them, 876 are from Mumbai alone.

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