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WHO praises efforts to contain COVID-19 in Mumbai's Dharavi slums

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GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) praised the efforts taken to contain the coronavirus in Mumbai's Dharavi while saying that only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around.

"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," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO DG.

"And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi - a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai - a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus," the UN Health Body Chief.

The WHO DG emphasised on the need for leadership, community participation and collective solidarity.

"From countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise. We need leadership, community participation and collective solidarity," he said.

The BMC in its reply said tweeted that, “Thank you WHO for acknowledging the mission Dharavi where we partnered with citizens to chase the virus from one of the most populated blocks of the city. “With your guidelines and Mumbai’s community efforts, we will beat Covid 19one block at a time by tracing, tracking, testing and treating.”

 

After the outbreak of Asia's largest slum Dharavi, it was one of the major hotspots for the spread of the virus because of its highly dense population. But BMC engaged with social activists, NGOs and communities and formed groups to contain the spread.

Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner said that this is big news for them. “It was the collective effort of everyone and we are really grateful that the World Health Organisation has recognised our effort. It is really big for us. Our happiness cannot be described in words. We are grateful to everyone,” said Dighavkar.

Aaditya Thackeray, guardian minister of Mumbai tweeted that, “This is huge for our every own Dharavi that has chased the virus. State government and BMC teams along with NGOs, elected representatives and most importantly Dharavikars! Let’s keep this going! Thank you, WHO for recognising their effort and will keep going.”

Nine new COVID-19 cases were reported in Dharavi area of Mumbai on Thursday taking the total number of cases to 2,347.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in India reached 7,93,802 on Friday, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Out of the total number of cases, 2,76,685 are active, 4,95,513 have been cured/discharged/migrated and 21,604 have died so far due to the infection.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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