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What is the truth about India's largest slum epidemic turning into crisis?

What is the truth about India's largest slum epidemic turning into crisis?  Original title: What is the truth about the ...

What is the truth about India's largest slum epidemic turning into crisis? 

Original title: What is the truth about the outbreak of India ’s largest slum?

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Reporter | Sean
Reporter | Sean
In the dark and narrow passage, staff members sprayed disinfection water on all corners successively; at the end of the road was a big closed iron door, leaving only a small door in the corner, with a slogan prohibiting outsiders from hanging on the door; People waiting to take their temperature lined up a long dragon, a small number of people wore masks, and more people only wrapped their mouth and nose with a handkerchief and cloth ...
A short Reuters film recorded Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, which was blocked, in Mumbai, the economic center of India.
As one of the countries with the highest population density, the outside world has been worried that India may become the next "epicenter." The overcrowded slums with extremely poor sanitary conditions are regarded as "time bombs". According to incomplete statistics, there are 110,000 slums all over India, and about one third of the population lives in these places.
On April 1, Talavi reported the first death of new coronary pneumonia. The patient was a 56-year-old man who died a few hours after being diagnosed on the way to hospital. Subsequently, according to official figures, the number of new cases in Talawi slums with a population of more than 1 million has never exceeded 100 in a single day, and 808 cases have been accumulated so far. In comparison, the average number of diagnoses per million people in the world is 526, 4069 in the United States, 5620 in Spain, and 3610 in Italy.
Judging from the figures alone, the outbreak in the slums seems to be under control, and the worrying outbreak has not occurred. Is this "poor man's special economic zone" performing an epidemic miracle?

Poor version of "Special Economic Zone"
Talavi was originally a small fishing village. In the mid-19th century, India under the British colonization began to embark on the road of urbanization. The population of Mumbai surged, the demand for land continued to increase, and the wetlands where Talavi was at that time were filled. In the late 19th century, heavily polluted tanneries began to be relocated to the Talawi region. Most of the factories working in these factories were low caste groups.
After the development of heavy industry, light industry such as garment manufacturing also entered the Talawi region, attracting a large number of rural migrant workers. After India got rid of colonial rule in 1947, Talavi became the largest slum in India. National Geographic magazine called it a "shadow city".
Various immigrants with expertise come here, spawning various micro-commercial forms, such as small factories and handicraft workshops that produce embroidered clothing, leather products, pottery, plastics. The products are not only sold in India but also exported overseas. The transaction volume can exceed US $ 650 million.

A factory in Talavi. Image source: Wikipedia
The British "Guardian" has commented that Talavi has created the most inspiring business model in Asia. This is the "Mumbai lung", digesting the resources of the city's rapid development and recycling it. As large as car batteries, computer parts, as small as ballpoint pens, plastic bags, all kinds of urban life waste products can be "reborn" in Talavi.
A spokesman for Chirag, Sonu Badal, who aims to protect Talavi slums from being demolished, said that even if not recognized by the local government, this place is actually a microcosm of India ’s economic recovery. The "Spontaneous Poor Edition Special Economic Zone" in the "New York Times" report was also included in the research case by Harvard Business School.
Speaking of Indian slums, the first thing many people think of is the movie "Slumdog Millionaire". Talavi is the place where this movie was filmed.
In fact, Talavi also emerged from many real millionaires. Mohammad Mustaqueem, nearly 60 years old, is one of them. When he first came here, he was only 13 years old, working in a tea shop, sleeping in slum lanes at night, and in the morning he might be thrown out of the garbage thrown out of the door.
In his free time, Mustaqim learned a little sewing technique by observing the work of nearby workers, and entered the garment factory to work in less than half a year. After four years in this way, Mustachim finally bought two of his own sewing machines and started a clothing business.
Today, Mustaqim has 12 clothing studios in Talawi, 600 employees, and personal assets amounting to 10 million US dollars. He still lives in Talavi but just moved to a 150 square meter apartment in the center. When asked why he did not move to a better place, he said: "This is my destiny."
Since the 1990s, the Indian government has repeatedly proposed plans to rebuild the Talavi slums, but it has been delayed until now due to the large number of residents.
When the slum encountered a new crown epidemic
The slums of Talavi are less than 5 square kilometers and less than half the size of Beijing Olympic Park. The population density is as high as 280,000 people per square kilometer, about 30 times that of New York.
Here, maintaining social distance is basically a fantasy.
"They are packed together like sardines. If the infection does occur, it will spread like wildfire and cannot be controlled," said Naresh Trehan, a well-known Indian cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeon.

Shacks in the slums of Talavi. Image source: Wikipedia
In Talavi, it is not uncommon for hundreds of people to share a toilet. Most houses do not have running water. Ten households share a faucet and only provide 3 hours a day. Garbage is everywhere in the streets, and local residents are used to coughing and spitting at will. Talavi has all the conditions to become a hotbed of viruses.
But from another perspective, residents who are accustomed to this kind of life may have immunity beyond ordinary people. Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said that they are always exposed to various viral environments, so their immunity may be stronger.
According to the Maharashtra State Medical Commission where Mumbai is located, from April 11th, government testing agencies have sent people to Talavi to test the people. After the test, patients who are classified as suspected cases will be placed in a "square cabin hospital" in a converted stadium in southern Mumbai.
Anyone who violates the "foot prohibition order" will be fined by the police to sit in the sun, do squats, or even be beaten with sticks. The authorities also dispatched drones to monitor people's activities to prevent them from gathering in violation of regulations.
Many people in the slums earn their living by doing odd jobs. The national blockade has lost them a source of income for nearly a month, and they have begun to worry about their livelihoods. They will open the door early to do business, hoping to make some income before the police arrive. The clothing store where Najma Mohammad worked was closed due to the epidemic. Najima said that in the past, she could still support three children by working income, but now the family can only rely on the help of neighbors to make a living.

At Talavi ’s free food distribution point, there are a large number of people waiting to eat every day. Image source: CNN alert is far from cleared
In Mumbai, with a population of nearly 20 million, 40% of the residents live in places like Talavi. According to statistics from the Brookings Institution in April, 30% of India ’s epicenters of new crown epidemics are located in slums, and Talawi is only one of the hidden dangers.
However, from the current situation, the epidemic in the slums has not developed into a prairie trend. Quick and comprehensive blockade measures are indispensable.
From 0:00 on March 25, India entered a national blockade, which was later extended to May 18, becoming the world's largest "blockade zone." There were only about 500 confirmed cases in India on the day of the blockade, and no cases have been reported in Talavi.
In contrast, Italy and the United Kingdom had 9200 and 6700 confirmed cases when they announced national blockade measures, respectively.
After a confirmed patient appeared in Talavi, the Mumbai authorities blocked off several key areas in the slums with roadblocks and conducted large-scale testing. All residents in the area are not allowed to move around at will.
Kiran Dighavkar, the official in charge of the relevant work, said that because maintaining social distance is basically impossible to achieve in Talawe, a more effective method is to control the virus in a fixed area and prevent it from spreading. A school, a stadium and an abandoned hospital in the slum have been converted into isolation points.
He led the Talavi epidemic prevention team with 2,500 people, including health officials, cleaners and volunteers. They disinfect 225 public toilets in slums every day, and also rent together with other charitable organizations to distribute food and medicine to residents. After reaching a peak of 94 new cases on a single day on May 3, Tarawi's newly diagnosed cases decreased significantly, with only 25 cases on the 8th.
The overall outbreak in India does not seem to have followed the scripts previously expected. Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the US Centers for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy Research, issued a warning in late March that in the worst case, millions of people in India may be infected with the new coronavirus, becoming the world ’s newest infection. The country with the largest number of viruses.
However, according to real-time data from Johns Hopkins University, as of May 9, a total of 59,765 cases were diagnosed in India, including 1986 deaths.
Although the situation is improving, it is still too early to celebrate the victory. What is worrying is that after entering May, the average number of new diagnoses in India rose to more than 3,000 per day. In a country with a population of 1.3 billion, the number of tests is only 1.52 million, and further observation is needed to see a more comprehensive epidemic trend.
Some experts predict that the peak of the Indian epidemic will appear in June. Since April 20, some industries and farms have begun to resume conditionally, and workers are also allowed to go to work in the same state. Some migrant workers who left before the closure of the city will also return to the slums one after another, bringing the risk of cross infection.
On the other hand, the current external knowledge of the Indian epidemic has come from official data, but public opinion has always questioned the authenticity of these data. A doctor in Mumbai once told CNN that when the body was delivered to the hospital, he would not be tested even if he suspected that the deceased was suffering from new coronary pneumonia.
Srinath Reddy, chairman of the Indian Public Health Foundation, also made another guess. Since the 1940s, India has widely promoted BCG vaccination, and subsequently adopted a mandatory policy. This vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis may also have some effect on the new coronavirus. The World Health Organization said it is conducting two clinical trials on whether BCG can prevent coronavirus, but no clear evidence has yet been obtained.
Undeniably, India came up with a "high-score answer" in the first round of anti-epidemic, but this test is still far from the time when it really comes to an end.



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AboutMicro News: What is the truth about India's largest slum epidemic turning into crisis?
What is the truth about India's largest slum epidemic turning into crisis?
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