How India’s largest slum Dharavi contained COVID-19 outbreak: Photos

Here’s how they did it. Medics were proactive in their response: Testing people from 9 a.m. until dusk each day, and documenting the situation in minute detail.

A doctor takes a swab sample at a COVID-19 coronavirus testing drive inside the Dharavi slums during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Mumbai on April 16, 2020. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP) (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

A doctor takes a swab sample at a COVID-19 testing drive inside the Dharavi slum in Mumbai on April 16, 2020.

INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images


“Instead of people reporting it, we started chasing the virus,” Dharavi said.

In early April, 47,500 people were tested for the virus in the city’s most vulnerable areas. Twenty percent of them tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantined right away.

“That gave us a head start,” Anil Pachanekar, a private doctor and head of a local physicians’ association, said. “If [those cases] had slipped through, it would have wreaked havoc.”

Medics said that it took some time to convince people in Dharavi to come forward, as they feared repercussions, but once they noticed there was nothing to fear, the public responded very well. 

Source: The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg

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