Tribune News Service
Mumbai, March 26
Mumbai is on the threshold of a major healthcare challenge as cases of people testing positive for the COVID-19 virus have been reported from four separate slum clusters in different part of the metropolis.
According to officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, two cases of COVID-19 have been reported from a slum in Ghatkopar in the central suburbs, one case each from a slum at Kalina in the western suburbs and a chawl at Parel in central Mumbai.
Civic officials say a 68-year-old maid from the Ghatkopar slum contracted the virus from the house of her employer who returned from a foreign country.
A 25-year old man from the same slum cluster was found to be positive for COVID-19 with officials stating that he may have contracted the virus from the maid.
Relatives of the maid tested negative for the virus as of now.
The authorities have quarantined them at a quarantine facility as the shack they occupy in the slum does not have its own toilet and running water, according to sources.
Health department sources admit that a major blunder was committed when they asked a 37-year-old resident of a Kalina slum to quarantine himself at home earlier this month.
The man, who worked as a waiter in Italy, did not show any signs of the virus when he returned home.
The authorities had not previously checked his place of residence before asking him to quarantine himself at home.
“He lives in a slum in Kalina housing some 25,000 people. There is no running water and people have to share several toilet blocks,” a health department official said.
After the man was found to be positive for the virus, several other people he came into contact for the past few days are being screened.
The fourth case is however proving to be tricky for healthcare officials.
The 65-year old woman from a Parel chawl, houses occupied by working class people, used to run a small food stall frequented by people who worked in the corporate offices located at the Indiabulls Centre.
“The woman had no history of foreign travel and it is quite likely that she got the virus from someone who used to come to her food stall,” a health department official said.
While the immediate relatives of the woman are being quarantined, the authorities want people who may have come into contact with her to isolate themselves at home.
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