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Why Dharavi may prove a big challenge in India's fight against Covid-19

With each house measuring between 100 and 200 sq ft, it practically seems impossible to maintain the recommended physical distancing

Topics
Coronavirus | Dharavi | Uddhav Thackeray

Kanishka Gupta  |  New Delhi 

In view of the zooming number of Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra, the most affect state by tally of cases in the country, the government has decided to aggressively evacuate suspected patients from the densely populated slum of and other hotspots, and put them in institutional quarantine.

So far, has reported more than 200 Covid-19 positive cases.

Here's why could be a big challenge in India’s fight against coronavirus

Social distancing and lockdown are suggested to be some of the plausible ways to contain the spread of the virus. So, when the government first came with the Janata Curfew, and then the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which was later extended till May 3, citizens tried keeping themselves indoors and maintaining social distance.

However, not all are fortunate enough to do so, especially when we talk of people of Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums. Dharavi has an area of just over 2.1 square kilometres and a population of about 700,000 people.

With each house measuring between 100 and 200 sq ft, it practically seems impossible to maintain the recommended physical distancing.

On Wednesday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, "Houses in Dharavi are very small and 10-12 people live in each house. Even if we advise home quarantine, the shortage of space defeats the purpose.”

"We have discussed the issue with Chief Minister and Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi. We have agreed that home quarantine would not be helpful in the Dharavi area, where space shortage is a major challenge," he added.

So, the people who were in close contact with Covid-19 patients would be evacuated so that further spread of the infection is stopped, Tope said.

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First Published: Fri, April 24 2020. 14:22 IST
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