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World Bank praises efforts to arrest Covid-19 spread in Mumbai’s Dharavi

PTI Washington | Updated on October 07, 2020 Published on October 07, 2020

In the space of three months, by July 2020, reported cases in the area had been cut to 20% of their peak in May

The World Bank on Wednesday praised the efforts made to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums, saying its success stemmed from a combination of customised solutions, community involvement and perseverance.

Dharavi, located in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, is spread over an area of 2.5 square kilometres and has a population of 6.5 lakh. People live in shanties and dilapidated buildings with narrow lanes and open sewers.

The first Covid-19 patient in Dharavi was detected on April 1, nearly three weeks after Mumbai recorded its maiden positive case on March 11.

Also read: Covid-19: On why home quarantine is impossible for the majority of Indians

The Washington-based global lender, in its biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity report, said that in the space of three months, by July 2020, reported cases in the area had been cut to 20 per cent of their peak in May.

Observing that effective approaches have tapped the skills and dedication of community members, the World Bank said that in Mumbai, city officials were able to stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Dharavi by mobilising community members and staff from private medical clinics for a strategy based on mass screening for fever and oxygen levels.

To help poor families during the lockdown, foundations, non-governmental organisations and volunteers provided thousands of households with ration kits.

Dharavi’s success stemmed from a combination of customised solutions, community involvement and perseverance, it said.

On Tuesday, a Mumbai civic body official said that the Covid-19 tally in Dharavi slum colony rose to 3,280 with the addition of 22 fresh cases.

Of the total 3,280 cases, 2,795 patients have recovered from the infection, he said, adding that the slum now has 192 active patients.

Also read: Sero-survey in Mumbai shows 57% respondents in slums, 16% in residential areas were exposed to Covid-19

In July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also praised the efforts made to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Dharavi, underscoring the need for community engagement along with national unity and global solidarity to turn the pandemic around.

According to Union Health Ministry data, India’s Covid-19 tally of cases climbed to 67.57 lakh with 72,049 new cases in a day, while 57,44,693 people have recuperated so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 85.02 per cent on Wednesday.

The total number of coronavirus cases mounted to 67,57,131, while the death toll climbed to 1,04,555 with the virus claiming 986 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, it said.

According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, the contagion has infected over 35 million people and killed more than 10 lakh across the world.

The US is the worst affected country with over 7.5 million cases and more than 2.1 lakh deaths.

Covid-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year, has also battered the world economy with the International Monetary Fund saying that the global economy is bound to suffer a “severe recession”.

PTI

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Published on October 07, 2020
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