Fifteen fresh cases of coronavirus have been reported from Mumbai’s Dharavi – the largest slum in Asia which is home to about seven to eight lakh residents – taking the total to 43, including four deaths.
The city police this morning barricaded the area amid rising number of COVID-19 cases from the locality. Policemen are on duty to keep a watch on the movement of the people.
The authorities say isolation and quarantine are working in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in crowded areas.
Earlier this week, civic officials said that at least nine containment zones have been put in place in Dharavi and as cases come up, more such zones are being identified.
Containment zones are spots — a building or a slum pocket – which has to be sealed and sanitized. People are not allowed out of doors and are provided essentials at their doorstep. Police officials guard the area to prevent people from going out.
While addressing the press recently, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said, “No need to shut down Dharavi completely”.
The lockdown in the state, which has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, to control the spread of the virus has been extended till the end of this month, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday after a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was one of the 13 chief ministers who attended the video meet.
“We may not extend the lockdown again, if this (extended) lockdown succeeds. Let everyone from the state be committed to defeat coronavirus,” Deputy Chief Minster Ajit Pawar said in a statement, news agency PTI reported.
Of India’s 8,356 cases, including 273 deaths, Maharashtra has reported 1,761 cases, including 127 deaths. Mumbai, identified as a COVID-19 hotspot by the centre, has reported more than 1,000 cases.
The Mumbai police and the city’s civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have ramped up the efforts to ensure crowd control and people are being asked to stay indoors. The police also carried out flag marches across the city to drive home the message ‘public health emergency’. The police also warned people about stepping outside their homes unless they have a very valid reason.