Citing Mumbai's Dharavi as example, Philippines govt to follow suit
Mumbai, Aug 18: The Philippines government will conduct a house-to-house search for people who are infected with coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms.
According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health (DOH) is adopting the so-called Dharavi Model of Mumbai, India, which has become a global model for the management of COVID-19.
Under the plan, health authorities will identify asymptomatic persons in communities, test and isolate them.
Some 800,000 people live in a one-square-mile stretch, boxed in between thundering train tracks and a polluted river separating it from the skyscrapers of Mumbai's financial district.
Meanwhile, the efforts of the Maharashtra government and the Centre to contain the pandemic in the area has drawn praises from even the World Health Organisation, with the chief of the global health watchdog citing that as an example of how the virus can be brought under control.
"Today the world recorded 12 million cases. In the last six weeks cases have more than doubled. (But) there are many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control. And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi - a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai - a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday during his daily press briefing.
The Philippines has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, and has had more reported infections than China, where the pandemic began late last year.