WASHINGTON: As the world is slowly moving towards what seems like an end to the COVID pandemic, the World Bank, on Wednesday, October 7, praised the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus in Mumbai’s Dharavi. It said that the success in controlling the virus spread in Asia’s largest slum was a result of a combination of customized solutions, community involvement and perseverance.
The first patient in Dharavi, a slum with an area of 2.5 square kilometres and a population of 650,000, was reported on April 1, nearly three weeks after Mumbai recorded its first COVID case on March 11. In the World Bank’s biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity report, it has been stated that in a span of just three months, by July 2020, reported cases in the area has been cut to 20 per cent of their peak in May.
It also noted that effective and inclusive approaches in tackling the virus spread helped Mumbai’s civic officials to stem the virus spread in Dharavi. However, this would not have been possible if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not taken the help of community members and staff from private medical clinics while implementing a strategy based on mass screening for fever and oxygen levels.
In July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also praised the efforts taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Dharavi, underscoring the need for community engagement along with national unity and global solidarity to turn the pandemic around.