Concerns afterMumbai’sDharavi slumreportsCOVID-19 cases

By: Aljazeera

Authorities in Mumbai are concerned over the possible spread of the new coronavirus in the densely populated slum of Dharavi after a man with COVID-19 died and a doctor and municipal corporation worker tested positive. The 56-year-old man who died on Wednesday night was the first to test positive from the sprawling shanty town in India’s financial hub. An estimated 700,000 to 1 million people live crammed in Dharavi – a roughly five- square-kilometre maze of nar- row lanes, ramshackle buildings, shanties and open sewers. The patient had no travel history and was admitted to a local hospital with a fever on Sunday and tested positive for the new coronavirus on Concerns afterMumbai’sDharavi slumreportsCOVID-19 cases Wednesday, an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. other residents of his house have been home quarantined and are being tested. “We will provide them food and water till their test results come back,” the official said. Two people tested positive on Thursday – a 52-year-old BMC sanitisation worker post- ed in Dharavi and a 35-year- old doctor who practises near the slum, considered Asia’s biggest. The 52-year-old man was admitted to an isolation ward. His family members and about two dozen colleagues have been asked to home quarantine, the BMC official said. Public health experts say it would be difficult to contain the virus if it spread in a slum like Dharavi where eight to 10 people often share a room. The population density is about 270,000 per square kilo- metre, making social distancing almost impossible. Water sources and sanitation facilities are shared by scores of people. The Dharavi cases have raised concern that India may be experiencing community transmission of the disease de- spite a countrywide lockdown since March 25. Thursday saw a jump of more than 300 cases with the total confirmed cases now at 1,965. Fifty people have died and 151 have been cured and discharged, according to the Health Ministry. Meanwhile, efforts contin- ued to trace all contacts of the estimated 2,000 people who attended a March 13-15 event at the Delhi headquarters of Ta- blighi Jamaat, a Muslim mis- sionary movement, Health Ministry spokesman Lav Agarwal said. Attendees had since moved across the country and at least 400 people had tested positive, according to reports from vari- ous states.

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