A healthcare worker conducting thermal screening at Dharavi slum area in Mumbai on Tuesday
MUMBAI: With Covid-19 cases in Asia’s largest slum pocket, Dharavi, increasing by the day, civic authorities are trying to screen the entire locality to trace positive cases and ensure they are isolated quickly.
BMC had screened 3.6 lakh people, which is around half of the official population of the area, till Tuesday evening. But the estimated population is known to be 8.5 lakh, with migration being unaccounted for.
Dharavi reported another 26 cases on Tuesday, taking the total to 1,353. The total deaths reported from the locality is 56. Civic officials said that with new cases coming in daily, they want to ensure maximum people are screened, so that high-risk suspects can be quarantined and tested.
Assistant municipal commissioner (G north ward) Kiran Dighavkar said screening of many people, multiple times if required, and isolating those with symptoms, was the only way to tackle the pandemic.
“There are multiple ways by which we are screening people in Dharavi. Door-to-door screening is one way. With help from private practitioners, we screened almost 47,500 residents. At fever camps, 3,224 residents were screened; 350 private clinics are operating for a month and are referring Covid suspects to us,” he said.
Over one lakh senior citizens from the area have also been screened. Since Monday, Smile Foundation NGO placed its van with doctors in high-risk zones and are screening people and referring them to quarantine centres, he added.
A public announcement service van is also moving around, appealing to people to contact quarantine centres like one at the transit camp municipal school or Rajiv Gandhi sports complex if they notice symptoms.
Other areas in the ward, like Mahim, reported 13 new cases, taking the total to 234, while Dadar reported three, taking the total to 176.