A DISPATCH FROM INDIA🇮🇳: how MUMBAI is battling COVID-19

mumbai coronavirus
Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link road wears a deserted look during 'Janata curfew' in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, Sunday March 22, 2020. Credits: Press Trust of India

A common disease like pneumonia originating from Wuhan, China, has grown into a health emergency, name COVID 19 across the globe. Italy is one of the worst hit country, especially in the region of Lombardy and in Milan. India’s affected numbers, although less to start with, are well managed as Government of India is taking all necessary steps to ensure that we are prepared well to face the challenge and threat posed by the pandemic.

In India approximately 12.322 confirmed cases and 405 deaths as on 15th April 2020 have been reported, according to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). To keep a check on the spread of CORONA Virus pandemic Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on March 23rd announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. Later in Mumbai and other places it is being extended till 3rd May 2020, since situation didn’t improved. The entire country will not step out of their homes, except those involved in essential services.


Talking about Mumbai, the city has started recording more than 100 cases daily over the past couple of days, the experts call it as peaking, whereas the Government is putting all its forces to flatten the curve, is it possible? Who all will contribute to this? Is it just the administration, the service providers or each and every citizen Mumbaikar?

 

The city that never sleeps

mumbai coronavirus
Credits: Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, today portrays an eerie picture, silent and desolate. Mumbai has locked itself, citizens couched in their houses, the streets emptied. Mumbai’s life line has slowed down. The city is unbelievably clamped down. Mumbai has seen several adversities in the recent past viz., the 1993 bomb blasts, 26/11 incident, the 2005 deluge, the swine flu disease to name a few, but Mumbai has always kept up with the metaphor as the city that never sleeps. Come what may, the life line continues to be on track, the city has always risen after every devastating stormy day. Space and time, the two prime words used by Mumbaikars swaps to hand washing and social distancing. Every one seems to hide away from each other, maintaining distance.



Learn more: Coronavirus outbreak in India

With lockdown, Mumbai’s Local Train Services has also stopped. Approximately, 80 lakh people use nearly 3000 services run by the Railways to help reach people to their place of work. Today, the station with its platform swelling with human footfalls gives a lamenting deserted look. A nightmare for any Mumbaikar. COVID-19 has changed the entire city’s scenario. The calm and serene picture of Mumbai handed over by the coronavirus doesn’t bring out happiness, instead induces pensiveness in the heart of the people snatching all the hustle–bustle from it.

 

Slums are helpless

Mumbai is one of the highest populated cities in the world, hosting the largest slum locality, the Dharavi Slum which a small room is shared by 10 to 12 people and a single washroom is used by 50 to 80 people in a day, thinking of social distancing, ideally one metre apart among two individual, in this cluster is next to impossible. With the coronavirus hitting the Slum, the spread of this disease may take an alarming rise.

The State Government with experts, service providers and police as a team are working war-footed to identify the hotspots, testing the infected with travel history, tracing their movements and contacts. In closely packed clusters like Dharavi and other slums, the doctors are reaching the infected the for testing to avoid their movements and crowding at the test centres. Special COVID-19 hospitals are identified, many hospitals has been added with isolation units. Foreseeing the growth of positive infected cases, Government has plans to add more and more isolation wards. Private hospitals and some hotels are becoming isolation wards as per orders. More and more tests are being conducted to identify the infected and further tracing of transmission. Apart from Government and its allied agencies, human force in the form of volunteers and NGOs are putting their best foot forward to help the most vulnerable sect like the labour class and the daily wagers. Food hand outs and ration kits are being distributed to the affected who have lost their daily work and cannot venture out to earn their daily bread. All those who are needy and helpless are taken care of by the local volunteers and various non-profit social organisations.

mumbai coronavirus

 

It will get worse, before it gets better

On parallel lines, for the healthy till now, the emergencies and essentials are well taken care of by the rulers so that no shortage falls in.

The indomitable spirit of Mumbaikars can be seen even today, the lockdown is strictly obeyed thereby maintaining social distancing, the suspected with no symptoms home quarantine themselves cooperating and contributing to the lockdown motto.

The spread and growth of the disease seems unfathomable, but the efforts and spirits of the Government and the citizen will make Mumbai reiterate and reverberate the metaphor solely of the city. Although worrying, the situation can be overcome.

Our best wishes are there with all the people in Milan and whole Italy. We hope that soon the situation will improve. In this difficult situation we all are together and praying for each other.

 

MRUTHUBASHINI SRINIVAS from memumbai.com

 

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