Pune slum fights COVID-19 with self-discipline, awareness

Pune: Even as several congested areas in Maharashtra’s Pune city turned into COVID-19 hotspots, slum pocket of Janata Vasahat has managed to fight the virus with coordinated efforts of its residents and authorities.

Situated along Sinhgad Road, Janata Vasahat is spread over 2 to 3 km area and has a total population of 60,000.

The locality has only reported two cases of COVID-19 so far, and the Pune Municipal Corporation plans to keep it that way.

Pune municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad attributed the success of controlling the spread to containment measures undertaken by the civic body and the geographical location of the slum.

“Nestled between a hillock called Parvati and a water body off Sinhgad Road, Janata Vasahat only has one entry and exit point, restricting people’s movement in the area,” the senior official said.

A couple of doctors from the civic body were active in the area and were working tirelessly to detect persons suffering from mild symptoms of COVID-19, he said.

“So early detection and tracking are crucial to the success we have achieved in this locality,” he added.

The coordinated efforts of youth volunteers, corporators and the police in ensuring social distancing had also paid off, Gaikwad said.

When coronavirus cases started emerging from slums in Pune, the local police in Janata Vasahat tightened vigilance and started creating awareness as well.

Self-discipline exercised by residents of the locality along with coordination among the local groups, police and civic staff had kept the situation under control, said senior inspector Devidas Gheware of Datta Wadi police station in the locality.

Zonal medical officer of the locality Dr Deepak Pakhale said door-to-door survey, tracing of symptomatic patients, monitoring senior citizens suffering from comorbid conditions, distributing masks and sanitisers had helped keep Janata Vasahat safe from the pandemic.

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