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Delhi slums face coronavirus wave: Small houses, dense population makes home quarantining difficult

There are about 750 slums in Delhi which have a population of about 15 to 20 lakh. At a time when the Delhi government has asked people to home-quarantine themselves in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, how is it possible to maintain ‘2 gaj ki doori’ in these areas where there are very small houses and a dense population?

Mumbai’s Dharavi, which is considered to one of the largest slums, has also been one of the worst-affected areas by the deadly virus.

Similar to Dharavi, now the novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Delhi’s slum areas.

After the spike in coronavirus cases in the national capital, the government decided to quarantine coronavirus patients at home. While the decision is suitable for those living in houses which have two or three rooms, it is not feasible for those residing in 8×8 rooms in overcrowded slums.

Moreover, in slum areas, people share common toilets. All these factors have made home-quarantining and social distancing difficult in such colonies.

Anshu, who lives in one of these colonies with his mother, was infected with coronavirus a few days ago, after which he was home quarantined.

Since the area has been declared as a containment zone, neither a doctor nor a government official has paid a visit, locals said.

A similar situation was seen in the reform camp in South Delhi which has a population of about 7,000.

People living here have alleged that a person was found coronavirus positive in their locality after which the government asked him to quarantine himself in his own house. This was opposed by some people of the area.

A video of this also went viral on social media after which the patient was shifted to a hospital in Badarpur.

According to locals, many people living in these small rooms have been infected by coronavirus.

“In such a situation, the government should also test the people living in this colony. When people living in kothis and bungalows get coronavirus test easily, then why are our tests not being done?” locals asked.

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