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Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will release a book on the success of Dharavi’s Covid-19 management model on Tuesday. Dharavi’s model to fight the coronavirus pandemic was much appreciated all over the world. The book has been written by an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, who was responsible for the acclaimed model to beat the lethal virus.
Dharavi was reporting close to 100 cases daily in April, which was the period of the devastating second wave of Covid-19 in India. Authorities said “Dharavi model” of Covid-19 management and vaccination drive had helped keep the second wave at bay. Dharavi is a sprawling and congested shanty town that was once a Covid-19 hotspot. Dharavi recorded its first Covid case in April 1, 2020, about 20 days after Mumbai reported its first case.
Civic authorities used a model involving 4Ts – tracing, tracking, testing and treating – a strategy praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) during the first wave of COVID-19. They again fell back on the model during the second wave. Door-to-door screening of people with symptoms, aggressive testing, regular screening and testing of Dharavi residents who work in different parts of Mumbai, including delivery personnel, industrial workers, helped control the spread.
Dharavi has a population of 6.5 lakh, which means 2,27,136 people living per sq km. Social distancing was next to impossible in Dharavi, where families of eight to 10 people live in 10×10 hutments. Apart from congested slum pockets, Dharavi is home to several small-scale leather, pottery and textile manufacturing units. The area has 5,000 GST-registered enterprises, 15,000 single-room factories and is a hub of international exports with an annual turnover of 1 billion USD, according to BMC data.
According to a BMC official, the biggest challenge was to maintain hygiene as 80 per cent of the population is dependent on 450 community toilets. The BMC has continued to screen and test people at 11 fever clinics and mobile testing units in anticipation of a third wave.