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WHO Chief Praises Efforts To Control COVID-19 In Mumbai’s Dharavi Slum

Geneva: The World Health Organisation has 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.

Dharavi, which is located in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, is spread over an area of 2.5 square kilometers and has a population of 650,000. People live in shanties and dilapidated buildings with narrow lanes and open sewers.

The first COVID-19 patient in Dharavi was found on April 1, nearly three weeks after Mumbai recorded its maiden positive case on March 11.

Addressing a virtual press conference here on Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there were 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.

“And some of these examples are Italy, Spain, and South Korea, and even in Dharavi – a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai,” Ghebreyesus said.

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On June 9, the tally of the coronavirus cases in Dharavi, once a COVID-19 hotspot in the city, reached 2,347 after nine new infections were detected.

Mumbai has recorded over 88,000 COVID-19 cases and 5,129 deaths.

Dharavi has only 291 active COVID-19 cases, while 1,815 patients have recovered and discharged from COVID-19 facilities.

Ghebreyesus also underlined that only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn the COVID-19 pandemic around.

He also stressed the importance of leadership, community participation, and collective solidarity to control the virus.

“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,” he added.

The World Health Organization said the novel coronavirus was yet to be brought under control “in most of the world”, while warning that it was actually “getting worse”.

Speaking at a briefing on Friday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The virus has upended health systems in some of the world’s wealthiest nations, while some countries that have mounted a successful response have been of modest means.

“In most of the world the virus is not under control. It is getting worse.”

The WHO chief added that the pandemic was “still accelerating”, as the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has “doubled in the last six week”, the Metro newspaper reported.

As of Saturday, the total number of global coronavirus cases stood at 12,507,849, while the fatalities rose to 560,460, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

On Saturday, India’s COVID-19 tally reached 8.2 lakh with 27,114 new cases with 22,123 deaths.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, globally, there are over 12 million COVID-19 cases and the disease has claimed over 560,000 lives.

(PTI)

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