New Delhi: World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has cited Mumbai’s Dharavi as an example of an intense Covid-19 outbreak that was brought under control.
It was mentioned during Ghebreyesus’ daily press briefing on Covid Friday, where he gave examples of countries that have been able to control the outbreak. He also urged nations to take aggressive combative strategies.
“Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around,” he said.
“There are many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense it can still be brought back under control. And some of these examples are Italy, Spain, South Korea and even in Dharavi, in a dense populated area in the megacity of Mumbai,” he said.
“A strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all that is the key to breaking the chain of transmission and suppressing the virus,” he added.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) thanked the WHO on Twitter for the acknowledgement of its efforts in the “one of the most populous blocks of the city”.
Thank you @WHO for acknowledging #MissionDharavi where we partnered with citizens to #ChaseTheVirus from one of the most populous blocks of the city
With your guidelines & Mumbai’s community efforts, we will beat #COVID19 one block at a time by Tracing-Tracking-Testing-Treating https://t.co/UoGfACgxmQ
— माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) July 10, 2020
Also read: How Covid hotspot Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, fought against all odds to flatten the curve
The Dharavi case
In May, Mumbai’s Dharavi saw an explosion of cases and was quickly becoming a headache for the Maharashtra government as the number of Covid-positive cases in the densely-populated area spun out of control.
As the narrow lanes and shared toilets of Asia’s largest slum denoted a possible community transmission, the BMC ramped up its testing and door-to-door survey in the area.
“It was a task that was deemed to fail but we have surprised everyone,” Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, in charge of G north ward consisting of Dadar, Mahim and Dharavi, had said earlier.
The slum has managed to effectively flatten the curve with the help of increased testing, using private clinics and setting up massive quarantine facilities, he had said.
On Tuesday, Dharavi reportedly recorded only one case, its lowest single-day tally in two months. The total number of cases in the area now stands at 2,359, with 166 active cases.
As of Saturday, Maharashtra has recorded 2,38,461 Covid cases and 9,893 deaths.
Also read: Lockdown, despite lapses, curbed Covid from spreading fast: Apollo chairman Dr Prathap Reddy