Gurugram: Slum clusters vulnerable amid inefficient screening

Gurugram: As a large number of cases continue to be reported from Gurugram, a major concern for the district administration now is to contain the spread of virus in the slums and urban villages in the city.

According to Haryana urban local body, over 20 percent of Gurugram's urban area is occupied by slums. As the city has expanded over the years, the rate of growth of slums in the city has also seen an upward trend with more people coming in and staying in these areas.

Some of the areas in the city where there are large number of slums in the city include Nathupur, Sikanderpur, Chakkarpur, Sector-44, Sukhrali, Naharpur, Mullahera, Dundahera, Sirhaul, Arjun Nagar Shakti Park and Gandhi Nagar.

All these areas have reported cases of COVID-19. Living in the cramped spaces where there can be at least six to eight persons living together in one room, the slums in the city are a fertile ground for transmission of the virus among a large number of people.

In addition to the spread of COVID-19, poor hygeine has increased the risk of people contracting other diseases also.

The proximity of the slums to industrial, corporate and posh residential areas of Gurugram has also resulted in the corona virus quickly spreading to these areas.

Officials have already expressed fear that as there are a large number of menial workers who are based in these areas, the stigma attached to the disease is resulting in fewer numbers of people coming out and reporting symptoms.

According to officials, the fear of contracting the disease would affect their prospects of employment. Added to that is the anxiety of most residential societies not having begun taking the services of their maids and drivers.

People employed as vegetable vendors, security guards, industrial workers, auto drivers, construction workers, health workers, office boys and domestic maids are now among the majority of COVID-19 patients in the city. Despite the claims by the Gurugram public health department of doing mass screenings and random testing on the persons having symptoms, there are complaints that the health workers have not visited most of the slums.

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