Mumbai: In an air-conditioned government building in Mumbai, a dozen officials are glued to a giant screen showing live drone and CCTV footage of crowded slums, the frontline in the city’s battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
When cameras captured dozens of shoppers thronging a market in Mumbai’s Dongri area last week, violating the countrywide lockdown begun on March 25, officials called in the police to disperse the crowd.
Twenty minutes later, the footage from Dongri showed only a handful of people still milling around. To help enforce a lockdown in what is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, authorities are using drones, re-oriented traffic cameras, and heat maps, but these can fall short when it comes to maze-like slum alleys.
“Hundreds will fall through the cracks, thousands but as long as it is not in millions we are safe,” Praveen Pardeshi, who heads the city’s main civic body, told Reuters in an interview.
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