- The Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India, identified its first coronavirus cases on April 2. It is one of the world's biggest slums.
- Onlookers feared that dire sanitation and extremely high population density there would let COVID-19 tear through its 1 million residents, who all live in one square mile.
- But two months on from the first case, Dharavi has emerged as a success story in India's outbreak.
- The slum recorded 491 cases in April and 1,216 in May. But thanks to mass testing and an ardent strategy of containment, only 274 cases and six deaths were reported by the third week of June.
- Scroll down to see how Dharavi did it.
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One million people live in a one-square-mile area, with eight to ten people sharing a room often no bigger than 10 feet by 10 feet. Eighty percent of people there use communal toilets.
Mumbai officials identified Dharavi as one of five danger zones in the city and sent an army of 2,450 health workers to oversee the response in the slum.
India enforced a nationwide lockdown2020欧洲杯足彩外围app on March 24 and relaxed some restrictions from early June.
Mosques located inside the slum used their loudspeakers, normally used to broadcast the call to prayer, to warn people to stay inside and be safe.
So far, it has worked. The slum went from recording 491 cases in April and 1,216 in May to only 274 cases and six deaths as of the third week of June.
"We can say so far, June is looking good, as the last two months were horrible," said Kiran Dighavkar, a municipal commissioner.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"Now we are are on top of the situation compared to what we were two months ago."
As of June 13, 77 people had died in Dharavi, but only six happened in June.
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.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围app"Instead of people reporting it, we started chasing the virus," Dharavi said.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appIn 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.
That Dharavi is a dense and bordered entity may have helped medics box in the virus and launch effective testing drives.
"It is possible that the compact geography enabled a greater level of coordination than in other places," Ramanan Laxminarayan, founder of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, DC, .
"But it is still too early to declare victory."
Health workers also monitored people through door-to-door tests, mobile vans, and makeshift "fever camps," which made it easier to control the virus.
2020欧洲杯足彩外围appAt the camps, according to the BBC's Soutik Biswas, "health workers in protective clothing screen up to 80 residents every day."
People showing flu-like symptoms were also given COVID-19 tests on the spot, with those testing positive moved to makeshift quarantine facilities at places like schools, marriage halls, and sports complexes, Biswas reported.
As of Thursday, no new deaths have been reported for more than a week.
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