Dharavi Slums (Mumbai, India): The Petri Dish of COVID-19 Herd Immunity


  •   Zameer Shervani

  •   Deepali Bhardwaj

  •   Roma Nikhat


The first and second serosurvey results of COVID-19 antibodies in Dharavi and Cuffe Parade slums (Mumbai, India) were studied. The seroprevalence data of the slums explained the zero novel coronavirus cases reported in the slum dwellers verified first in real on the ground the concept of much needed herd immunity against the pandemic.  First serosurvey data showed that more than half (57%) of the population of Dharavi was infected with the virus. The antibodies were waned off in two month time and diminished to 45%, as found in the second survey conducted after two months of the first survey. The antibodies prevalence was highest at 75% in Cuffe Parade slums of Mumbai. Initially, Dharavi slums were a hotspot of novel coronavirus which later became nearly a no-new infection zone. The herd immunity acquired in Dharavi residents stopped the new infection. One million Dharavi slum dwellers living in a crowded semi-isolated cluster mimic the petri-dish model of a human population which is now a near COVID-19 free zone due to the presence of antibodies in the residents. The infection rate in Maharashtra, India, and Dharavi slums was compared. The concept of herd immunity that occurred on the ground in real has been first established. The research is very useful to vaccinate populations to eradicate the pandemic from the globe.

Keywords: COVID-19; Herd immunity; CIVID-19 infections; serosurvey data; Dharavi slums


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