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‘Dharavi model’ to combat COVID-19 in Mysuru?

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2020-07-11 11: 56: 00

Exhaustive surveillance is planned in Narasimharaja Assembly constituency which has seen a big spike in cases and deaths over the last few days

Several pockets of Narasimharaja Assembly constituency in Mysuru city have lately witnessed a big jump in COVID-19 infections and high mortality rate and the authorities are mulling over replicating Mumbai’s ‘Dharavi model’ to control the COVID-19 fatalities with exhaustive surveillance engaging the local community.

The efforts made in controlling coronavirus in the Mumbai slum have come for praise. Even the WHO had praised the Dharavi model. The densely populated slum saw many cases and deaths but they were successfully contained employing extensive surveillance.

Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar said areas such as Kalyangiri, Subhash Nagar and Udayagiri in the Narasimharaja constituency are among the affected areas and deaths due to COVID-19 are being reported within 400 metre areas, raising doubts of “cluster outbreak”.

Officials and health authorities alone cannot combat the soaring infection and death rate. Community participation is key. Therefore, the support of religious leaders, local elected representatives and other prominent persons had been sought.

A mini-lockdown has been proposed in some areas of the segment for a week, Mr. Sankar said.

“We want to go for a thorough observation of the community as people are dying within 48 hours of reporting the infection. Our priority now is to stop deaths. We need to identify people with co-morbidities and respiratory issues and plan interventions with segregation. There is a need to identify the vulnerable population and conduct the tests,” according to Mr. Sankar.

The ‘Dharavi model’ will be replicated where the health workers will undertake rigorous door-to-door surveillance to detect cases, if any. “For this, we need cooperation from the local community who are presently not extending full support. Therefore, we have requested the local leaders to persuade the community and cooperate.”

The local religious leaders can help us in spreading greater awareness among the community, he felt.

The Deputy Commissioner said the administration was also ready to set up COVID-19 care centres for asymptomatic patients in the same constituency to instill confidence as such patients cannot be home isolated in view of densely populated localities.

A permanent burial site for COVID-19 victims has been proposed away from Mysuru city on a government land which is a 30-minute drive from the city. Many government lands are being explored to establish the site.

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