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The curfew will be relaxed only for two hours

The curfew-like restrictions that will come into effect on immediately will continue till further orders. No one will be allowed to venture out of their houses in these hot spots and essentials will be hand-delivered, the state cabinet decided. Maharashtra govt seals all hotspots, including Dharavi. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to shut down all vegetable vendors, fruit markets, hawkers in the G/North Block. Mumbai police officers’ salary gets delayed due to ‘technical failure’ amid the COVID-19 crisis. Small business in loss, no salaries, shrunken charity, life stalled but safety is prime concern. Dharavi reported the third death when a 70-year-old woman passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. The Maharashtra government on Thursday sealed all the COVID-19 hotposts in Mumbai, including the largest slum cluster, Dharavi, as the state reported 229 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1,385. Mumbai reported 229 new cases the highest in a single day. Dharavi reported the third death when a 70-year-old woman passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. More than 14 people have been confirmed with the COVID-19 infection in Dharavi. Fearing community transmission, the health ministry drafted a containment plan for slum clusters. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has banned all unlicensed vegetable and fruit markets, hawkers and sellers at the containment areas in Dharavi to prevent further spread of the virus, said officials of BMC. Only medical outlets are allowed to function. Anyone caught buying from unlicensed roadside vendors will be arrested.

Of the 1,385 COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, 876 have been reported from Mumbai, which recorded 54 deaths. Maximum patients have been found in G-South ward spread between Haji Ali and Worli, followed by E, D and K-West wards. Despite the lockdown, the number of containment zones in Mumbai has increased from 146 on 31 March to 381 on Thursday. These include housing societies, slum pockets, and hospitals, including Wockhardt Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, and Bhatia Hospital. BMC has barred the entry or exit of people from the containment zones. The municipal corporation said it will start providing door-to-door service for essentials in these areas. The development comes a day after the Maharashtra government made the wearing of face masks mandatory in public places in Mumbai, the first city in India to do so. Maharashtra has also classified containment zones as simple zones (with one case) and cluster containment zones (with 3-5 cases), besides creating a buffer zone around these containment zones.

In simple terms, the surge will mean the number of cases doubling and tripling. For instance, till two weeks ago, Mumbai was seeing only a handful of cases. It then rose to 50 cases per day and now to more than 100 daily in the last few days. Within 12 hours on Thursday morning, the city saw 48 more cases. BMC, which has been doing aggressive testing has now ramped up its scale. As many as 1,500 tests are being conducted daily. The civic body has formed teams to check not just hot spots but also every municipal ward to spot anyone with symptoms of cough, cold and fever. A state government official said the majority of the cases in the state was because of people who had arrived from Saudi Arabia, UAE and other West Asian countries, which were not in the central list of countries to be quarantined. He, however, said over the last few days, the Nizamuddin Markaz connection has also been identified as several of those who attended the gathering had returned to the state. The effect is particularly seen in Mumbai’s slum pockets such as Dharavi. Giving an example of how tough it is to check the spread of the virus in slums, the spread is much higher and we have to work that much harder to trace the contacts of all these 30 people as well.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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