Home to around 1 million people, Dharavi slum has a population density almost 30 times greater than New York — about 280,000 people per square kilometer.

Doctors say the situation would be unmanageable if a sustained coronavirus outbreak spread rapidly through one of India’s many slums, where there is little sanitation or running water and thousands of people live cheek by jowl — making social distancing physically and economically impossible…

Dr. Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of the Medanta-the Medicity hospital in Gurugram, near New Delhi, said it was vital that authorities know whether a slum has an outbreak.

“Once we know that one slum has got it, and we lock it down, and we feed everybody and we keep them isolated for the next two weeks, we keep them well fed, it will work its way out. We will know the critical ones, and the ones who are mild, they can be quarantined at home, and the population at large can be monitored,” Trehan said.