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MUMBAI: The Dharavi slum colony in Mumbai did not report a single Covid-19 case in the last 24 hours. The first COVID-19 death in a Mumbai slum has fuelled concerns of the coronavirus spreading unchecked in informal settlements and refugee … The front line of Dighavkar’s plan will be made up of women. MUMBAI: The Covid-19 tally in Dharavi, the biggest slum in Mumbai, rose to 3,741 on Thursday with the addition of five cases, a senior official of … Dharavi’s modern history dates to the late 19th century, when Muslim tanners, looking for a place to practice their odoriferous trade outside the limits of British-run Bombay, built a rudimentary settlement nearby. “If people in Mumbai want a safe place to avoid infection, they should probably go there.”. More than half the residents of slums in three areas in India's commercial capital, Mumbai, tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, a new survey has found. In July, World Health Organisation praised the efforts taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Dharavi, one of the world's largest slums, underscoring the need for community engagement along with national unity and global solidarity to turn the pandemic around. “We have to make sure safety measures are taken.” His most urgent priority was to get as much protective gear to workers as possible. It is also Mumbai… That left the kittens plenty of space to gambol across the bare floor, nap on a comfortable cardboard box, or be amused by the neighborhood kids who came to visit. Photo: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas/Files. As Bhoyar spoke, a city sanitation worker stepped forward to spray the house with disinfectant. Mumbai: The 125,000 slum-dwellers living under a lockdown so strict that … International Footsteps tried to keep connected with its workers, paying them 80% of their salaries for the first month of lockdown and 60% for the second. By the time the area played a starring role in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, soaring housing costs in the rest of Mumbai had even made it attractive to some white-collar workers looking for affordable, centrally located housing. “We are fed up with this virus,” Ilaiyaraaja said in her tiny tenement apartment, two of her daughters sitting shyly by her side, “and with waiting for this nightmare to be over.”. She told the young man who answered the door that everyone who lived in the house needed to go to a quarantine center for observation and testing. Before the pandemic, it generated more than $1 billion a year in activity, providing a base for industries from pottery and leather-tanning to recycling and the garment trade. Only about two-thirds of the slum’s people are formal residents; the rest are rural migrants who traditionally slept on factory floors or shared rented rooms, returning to their hometowns a few times a year. We received instructions from the government of India and the government of Maharashtra that we have to plan out the organisational set up of how the coronavirus vaccine is going to be spread and catered right from the ward level to the corporate level. They were contacts of positive cases and were supposed to have been taken to an isolation center, not the hospital. Covid-19: Crucial test in Mumbai slums brings focus on debate around herd immunity. So the company was letting him stay on the premises for free, until he could find a more permanent arrangement. The coronavirus problem that India had feared is becoming reality in Mumbai. ▲ Health worker Sunanda Bhoyar in Dharavi. Thanks for contacting us. Nearly a million people who live in one square mile have been left without a … They commandeered wedding halls, sports centers, and schools as isolation facilities to separate suspected cases from the rest of the population. But only 30% of its personnel have resumed their jobs, mostly Dharavi locals, leaving the company well short of the numbers it might need to fill large orders. He couldn’t afford to live in the room he’d been sharing with two co-workers, because neither had yet returned. India’s economy is in an historic slump, and less economic activity means fewer things being thrown away—and also less demand to make new products from the old. It also offered to cover the cost of transportation back to the city and is looking into securing more spacious housing—maybe even with the luxury of an attached toilet—for staff who return. Mumbai's slums have emerged as hotbeds for Covid-19, and is adding to the rising cases of infections in the city.With Dharavi already in the spotlight for a steadily increasing the coronavirus count, other areas in the city like Worli Koliwada and Govandi have also emerged as virus clusters. But successive consultations, proposals, tenders, and visioning exercises failed to settle on any plan. But as the rain started to pick up again, Bhoyar said she was convinced that, in Dharavi, it would be enough to keep the virus at bay. News Coronavirus: 57% of people in Mumbai slums had virus. The city is facing a stiff challenge in its fight against COVID-19 with the virus entering densely populated slums and chawls where social distancing is impractical. With the global economic slump depressing activity in cities, a large proportion of the migrants have stayed in the countryside. Despite its absent workers and stepped-up protective measures, Dharavi could still provide an extremely hospitable environment for the virus—particularly if a rush of returning migrants reintroduces it at large scale. Whole streets were sealed off behind checkpoints, with officers on patrol and camera-equipped drones buzzing overhead. But during a recent visit, the shredder was silent and the workers gone, decamped to their villages in India’s north. It showed high proportion of asymptomatic COVID-19 infection in the city. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai's main municipal authority, has set up camps in various residential areas and slums to trace COVID-19 patients. A sero-survey conducted in Mumbai showed that more than half the people, or 57 per cent, tested in slums had been exposed to and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus as compared to only 16 per cent of those tested in residential societies. He was conscious, though, that a system sufficient to contain the virus with the economy halted could be severely tested by the resumption of more activity. By July the number of new cases had declined to an average of 10 a day, compared with 45 per day in May, although the figure has since ticked modestly upward. Here's how they did it. But even the most fatalistic virologists credit Dighavkar’s model with keeping mortality low, with some help from a youthful population. “I have to earn a living,” he said. Mumbai’s slums, where an estimated 40 per cent of the city’s 20m population lives, are particularly susceptible to the spread of Covid-19. Dighavkar, who is 37 and a civil engineer by training, came to Dharavi with modest ambitions. Mumbai’s slums, where an estimated 40 per cent of the city’s 20m population lives, are particularly susceptible to the spread of Covid-19. Mumbai, where about 40 percent of the population lives in slums, has reported just over 110,000 infections and more than 6,000 deaths so far. Rather than waiting for infected people to announce themselves, the government began dispatching teams of health-care workers to find them, going door to door asking about symptoms, offering free fever screenings, and administering tests to those likeliest to have the virus. Terms of Use The future of Dharavi’s manufacturing sector may look like International Footsteps, a factory that makes sandals for Western mall brands such as Aldo. Past the double doors the group entered a spacious holding area monitored by a thermal camera on a tripod. “Herd immunity” works under the theory that the spread of COVID-19 is neutralized faster if it is allowed to run through the population — in contrast to the social-distancing guidelines put in place over much of the world. © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Biden agrees to meet with GOP senators to discuss COVID-19 relief, Biden is failing on COVID by the standards he set as a candidate, FDNY firefighter who responded to Ground Zero dies of COVID-19, Bill would require minimum staffing levels in NY nursing homes, hospitals, NYC issues state of emergency ahead of brutal winter storm, 38 years ago, Clint Eastwood and William Shatner invaded Laos. “Precaution will be our key focus going forward,” she said—“social distancing, awareness related to hygiene, fever screening, and sanitization.” Even with the massive slum slowly coming back to life, Bhoyar added, “I’m not really scared.”. A general view of slums next to high-rise buildings in Mumbai, June 27, 2020. “This is the procedure. With snack bars and mess halls shut, even those who could afford food struggled to find enough to eat. Link Copied. It was likely the country’s largest forced migration since Partition, the violent 1947 division of India and Pakistan—and had the unintended result of spreading the coronavirus deep into rural areas. Some undertook a tricky maneuver that involved pulling the hems of their saris up and back between their legs, tucking the fabric behind their waists, to step into the white coveralls they’d been issued. There was almost no sunlight, the result of haphazard additions that had pushed the buildings on either side to structurally questionable heights. Bhoyar patiently explained that the man’s 9-year-old daughter was friends with one of the brothers’ children, and often visited their house to play. In a pristine marble hallway, a multilingual sign asks visitors to apply some hand sanitizer from a dispenser on the wall. So in his first months in his new role he focused on the middle-class neighborhoods at its edges, laying new sidewalks and making symbolic changes such as switching the figures on crosswalk signals from male to female. But it’s a financial catastrophe for people like Ilaiyaraaja. (Rafiq Maqbool / … At the very least, people had to come out to use the toilet, to fill water bottles from public taps, and to collect food packets donated by charities. Mumbai’s Dharavi, the world’s largest slum, contained Covid-19 against all odds. His previous posting was in the historic core, where his signature project had been the construction of a viewing platform in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, an architecturally spectacular Victorian rail hub, that allowed tourists to snap photos without dashing into traffic. The irony is that Dharavi, which has a population of about 1 million and is probably the most densely packed human settlement on Earth, has largely contained the coronavirus. While coronavirus spread in the U.S., an Indian slum with 1 million residents contained it Doctors conduct a free medical camp in Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, India. The thermal camera and Khan’s questioning had prevented that outcome—evidence, to Dighavkar, that the system was working. That was due in part to opposition from residents, who pointed out that even if renovations brought better housing, their jobs might be relocated to distant industrial parks. It’s also a remarkable contrast to the disaster unfolding in the rest of India. We've received your submission. With rare exceptions, no one could leave the area, not that there was anywhere to go: The rest of the city, and all of India, were locked down, too, though usually with much lighter enforcement. The trouble, though, was that all the boxes were green—not something a physician greeting confirmed coronavirus carriers would expect to see. Dharavi’s first coronavirus case was posthumous. Mumbai washes its hands of lakhs, do’s & don’ts don’t matter here. The Janta Nagar area of Mumbai's Govandi slums. A bus going to the wrong facility was a harmless mix-up, but letting seven potentially healthy people interact with infectious Covid-19 patients would have been a disaster. ▲ Bhoyar instructing residents on protective measures. 36,463, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved Their success or failure will be an important example for similar places around the world—areas that are home to as much as a sixth of the global population and which no government hoping for a durable recovery from the virus can afford to ignore. This story has been shared 116,963 times. With redevelopment plans in flux, Dighavkar’s superiors had little enthusiasm for putting significant money into Dharavi. A young man stepped forward as the group’s unofficial spokesperson, and after some back and forth, Khan learned that none of them had even been tested for the virus. Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. When the system detected a fever, the monitor was supposed to show a red box around a patient, while normal temperatures would prompt a green box. “Dharavi is a hub of activity, and we cannot let it go.”, Watch: How India’s Biggest Slum Contained Covid. So the family is in limbo, waiting both for the economy to pick up and for the stigma attached to slum dwellers to fade. The tent housed a 192-bed field hospital for Covid-19 cases and had been carefully designed to triage incoming patients without letting them spread the virus. In some countries their inhabitants account for 90% of the informal urban workforce—an army of construction laborers, small-time vendors, assembly-line helpers, and restaurant servers that developing world metropolises rely on to function. What worried Dighavkar was the prospect of reopening factories—cramped, poorly ventilated places where laborers spend hours on end, elbow-to-elbow. ▲ Dr. Asad Khan (center) and Dighavkar at a field hospital. Many have had experiences like those of Valli Ilaiyaraaja, who used to work as a cleaner for three families in a neighborhood near the slum, and said none would allow her back even after the national lockdown ended in June. As with seemingly all other news about the virus, both supporters and critics of the Indian government claimed the data vindicates their position. While Maharashtra has seen 45 cases of infections and a death from coronavirus, there has been no evidence of community transmission. But in slums such as these, with population densities among the highest anywhere in the world, social distancing is an impossibility. The negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be disproportionately felt by residents of slums. The only solution, Dighavkar says, is “screening, screening, screening,” an unrelenting effort to track down infected people and isolate them from the community. Since then, many Containment Zones have been created in the slums of Mumbai. About 57 percent of the nearly 7,000 people surveyed in the crowded slums of Mumbai With three new fatalities, the overall deaths in Mumbai has reached 11,135. NEW DELHI — India crossed 1 million coronavirus cases on... Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sunanda Bhoyar was more practically attired, in a block-print tunic over billowy pink trousers, and donned her suit with ease. Before efforts to contain the novel coronavirus idled much of the Indian economy, the 350-square-foot concrete room was a hive of nonstop industry. It’s a substantial commitment of resources, but the human and economic toll of a renewed outbreak would be far larger. Infections were soon spreading rapidly, prompting the Mumbai government to impose draconian containment measures. Some scientists have suggested the impressive numbers aren’t entirely the result of public-health measures. By South Asia correspondent James Oaten, Som Patidar, and Nagesh Ohal in Mumbai “The other is that herd immunity has been reached.”, “The virus does its work,” he said. Whether in Nairobi’s Kibera or Rio de Janeiro’s hilltop favelas, slum economies are inextricably linked to the cities around them. COVID-19 Mumbai Case: A second coronavirus case has been reported from Mumbai's Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, in less than 24 hours, heightening worries of a … Now its people need to survive an economic catastrophe. But he was more impressed with the 10% raise he’d received for coming back to work. All added their own living quarters, building with whatever materials they could find, giving little notice to the fact they were, technically, squatting on government-owned land. FILE - A man brushes his teeth outside a shanty in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, in Mumbai, India, Dec. 27, 2016. A few minutes later they climbed back into their vehicle and were driven away. By then, many of its tents and huts had been replaced by structures of brick, concrete, and tile, arrayed around communal wells and powered by electricity from the municipal grid—even though almost no residents had formal land title. Meanwhile, Mumbai’s government had begun floating ideas for a redevelopment, one that would replace lopsided squatters’ homes with modern apartments and move factories and workshops into purpose-built quarters, probably elsewhere in the metropolis. He also proudly took credit for building the city’s costliest public convenience, a $122,000 toilet complex on a busy seaside promenade. That success has made Dharavi an unlikely role model, its methods copied by epidemiologists elsewhere and singled out for praise by the World Health Organization. She soon set off into the heart of Dharavi’s residential quarter, a warren of footpaths and alleyways often too narrow for a pair of people to walk abreast. The problem, for International Footsteps as well as other businesses in Dharavi, is that “everyone” isn’t who it used to be. 42,052, This story has been shared 36,463 times. There were only about 2,000 confirmed infections in India at the time, mostly traceable to international travel, and the news seemed to indicate a serious problem. The neighbor’s family wouldn’t have to quarantine, she said, but would be visited again to see if anyone had developed symptoms. Slums in India are bucking the coronavirus uptick thanks to “herd immunity,” according to a new study.. About 57 percent of the nearly 7,000 people surveyed in the crowded slums of Mumbai … Some were reluctant to cooperate. Mumbai, with a population of 12.4 million – half of whom live in slums where the population density can reach 270,000 people per sq km – was always going to be a coronavirus hotbed. ▲ Khwaja Qureshi is waiting for his employees to return. That’s not enough to pay for the cost of traveling to their home village in South India, where they could live rent-free, nor to cover school tuition for the girls. Thanks to an aggressive response by local officials and the active participation of residents, the slum has gone from what looked like an out-of-control outbreak in April and May to a late-September average of 1.3 cases per day for every 100,000 residents, compared with about 7 per 100,000 in Portugal. After drawing the hoods over their hair, they looked a little like snowmen. A large segment of the slum work force participates in … Similar policies remain in place across the city. The Jamblipada slum in the western suburbs of Mumbai was declared a “containment zone" after a resident tested positive for covid-19 on his return from Italy, where he was working on a cruise-liner. Deprivation abounded, but Dharavi could also be a social accelerator, allowing the poorest to begin their long climb to greater prosperity—and to joining the consumer class that powers the $3 trillion Indian economy. The survey showed that 75 per cent of the population tested positive for Covid antibodies which is one of the highest seroprevalence rates reported in the country. Slum self development . Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. “The virus doesn’t worry about your quarantine and it is much more efficient than your efforts to contain it.”. A place with more people than San Francisco, crammed into an area smaller than Central Park, is hardly a promising environment for social distancing. Covid-19 cases recorded in Mumbai's G/S ward where the Worli-Koliwada slum -- the first slum settlement to be hit by the virus in Mumbai -- is located, shot from one to 68 in less than a week. May 14, 2020. Bhoyar soon gathered up her entourage of assistants to move on. The coronavirus outbreak has shined a spotlight on the often overlooked underbelly of India’s ‘City of Dreams’ –– the slums and other informal settlements where about 49 percent of its population resides. Regardless of their official status, “we are here to take care of them,” Dighavkar said. Beggars had returned to intersections, though usually wearing masks as they shuffled from car to car. Known as the 'City of Dreams', Mumbai is home to the largest number of billionaires as well as Asia's largest slum Dharavi -- one of the coronavirus hotspots. Possible alternatives for Mumbai slums in a post-COVID-19 world. Qureshi, a stout, thick-fingered man of 43 whose father founded the operation, mostly ignored his feline workplace companions. Photographs and Video by Zishaan A Latif. The slum is home to thriving leather, pottery and textile stitching businesses. In front of his broad wooden desk, someone had set up neat rows of chairs to allow subordinates to gather before him like students at an assembly. Indian health authorities have confirmed cases in Dharavi, the Mumbai slum made famous in “Slumdog Millionaire.” Opinion: In world’s megacities, understanding housing is … At just 270 confirmed deaths, Dharavi has one of the lowest Covid-19 fatality rates of any urban area in India, and methods developed there are now being rolled out across the country as the disease tears through smaller cities. Dharavi’s economic calamity, however, may be just getting started. In the Govandi slums of eastern Mumbai, 27-year-old Anjum Shaikh has heard enough about the … ▲ Kiran Dighavkar at an isolation center. The study revealed that 57% of slum population and 16 per cent of non-slum … A 56-year-old man who lived in Dharavi, India’s largest slum, where almost 1 million people are densely packed together in a 2 sq km area in Mumbai, had tested positive for coronavirus. Mumbai: Dharavi, which reported zero cases in the last two days, saw six persons testing positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Now its people need to survive an economic catastrophe. “It will be part of our continuous process from now on.”. Coronavirus: how Mumbai’s sprawling slums threaten to become a Covid-19 breeding ground With one toilet per 1,200 people, not enough clean drinking water … A 56-year-old man who lived in Dharavi, India’s largest slum, where almost 1 million people are densely packed together in a 2 sq km area in Mumbai, had tested positive for coronavirus. He’d been spending his days sitting on a plastic chair, drinking cup after cup of milk tea and chatting with other Dharavi entrepreneurs, all of them part of Mumbai’s fearsomely efficient but completely informal recycling industry, who stopped by to talk business.

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