While Maharashtra remains the worst hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, the state government has at last something to cheer. Today, the Dharavi reported zero new cases of the pandemic, a first since the virus was first detected in the famous slum in April.
While this is a success story in the battle against the Chinese virus, the ruling party leaders seem to have gone overboard with celebrations. Senior Congress leader Milind Deora also celebrated the fact that around 70% people living in the state have already had Covid-19. He tweeted that today is the Today is a momentous day for Mumbai, as Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum, reported 0 new COVID19 cases for the first time since the outbreak.
Deora also added that “based on serological findings, approximately 70% of residents of Mumbai’s slums are estimated to have already had COVID & possess antibodies.”
Although getting infected with the virus produces antibodies in the body, the effectiveness of the same is not yet confirmed by medical science. According to studies, the antibodies produced by the body as a reaction to the Covid-19 infection last only a few months. A study report published in the New England Journal of Medicine had found that antibody levels fall rapidly in previously Covid-19 infected persons, and the half-life period of antibodies has been estimated to be around 73 days.
This means, the people in Dharavi who was infected with the virus several months ago, may not have left with enough antibodies in their bodies to fight the virus. Due to this reason, experts say that even those who have recovered from Covid-19 need to take vaccines.
Therefore, the fact that 70% people in slums Mumbai have been estimated to have infected with the virus is no cause for celebration, as it does not guarantee that they will not be re-infected again. But the figure points how the Maharashtra government failed to contain the virus in slums in the state. It is ironical that the leader of the Congress, a constituent of the state government, is celebrating such a failure.