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Covid cases drop in Mumbai for the first time in over a week, but officials point out low testing over weekend

On Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had warned residents of the state of another lockdown if cases kept rising.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: February 23, 2021 12:05:08 am
mumbai covid newsBMC volunteers during a COVID-19 awareness campaign at Dharavi, as coronavirus cases rise across the city, in Mumbai, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.(PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)

After a steady rise in Covid-19 cases for over a week, Mumbai saw the number of cases drop on Monday, but officials said it was due to low testing on weekends, and a lag in updating the numbers on Sunday.

On Monday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) registered 760 new cases of Covid-19 with four deaths, a sharp drop from Sunday’s 921 cases, the highest in recent times. About two weeks ago, the daily cases of Covid-19 in the city were between 350 and 450.

“On Sunday, usually, the number of Covid tests is low and then, the next day, it increases once again. However, all these figures take time to update in the system and will reflect in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s figures,” said a senior BMC official.

In February, the city’s doubling rate of Covid-19 cases was 564 days; now it has dropped to 321 days. The growth rate has increased from 0.12 per cent to 22 per cent.

On Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had warned residents of the state of another lockdown if cases kept rising.

Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal held a review meeting with all additional municipal commissioners and other civic officials on Monday. Chahal directed all ward officers to revive all facilities and norms that were followed when cases were at their peak last year.

Officials said that currently, only 25 per cent of beds at all jumbo facilities put together are in use and these facilities are on stand-by, in case of further increase in numbers.

“Anyone with a home quarantine stamp found roaming outside will be booked under the Epidemic Act. Teams in the war rooms have been asked to call positive patients in home isolation four times a day to see if they are sticking to their isolation. Local ward offices have been asked to seal any building with five or more cases,” said an official.The civic body will continue to conduct surprise raids on pubs or gymkhanas where large gatherings take place.

“The BMC is reviving all its facilities to tackle any situation, like we did during Ganeshotsav, when there was a surge in cases. Currently, of all those found positive, 82 per cent are asymptomatic and only 18 per cent are symptomatic. The number of cases in high-rises is more compared to slums,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani.

He added, “The rise in cases is mainly due to large gatherings of people without taking adequate safety precautions. Although crowds in local trains are also a factor, but gatherings are the main reasons for the virus spreading.”

When asked about the possibility of night curfew being reimposed, Kakani said all possible options had been discussed in the recent meeting held by the chief minister. However, nothing final has been decided, he said.

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