The gradual increase in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai over the past 10 days has alarmed the city administration, with officials claiming that numbers of the coming week will be crucial in deciding whether the city needs to be placed under any form of restriction. After a gradual fall, the Covid-19 numbers in Mumbai have been showing an increase post Diwali.
“Even though cases are rising, the positivity rate remains low at 6-7 per cent . We will observe for the next few days if the number of critical patients or deaths increase. That may indicate a second wave,” Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said.
Mumbai’s maximum active cases touched 34,000 on September 18. While the total number of active cases in the city is now 12,707, the BMC is predicting this number could go up to 37,000 to 40,000 cases.
BMC is preparing for beds accordingly. All jumbo facilities’ oxygen tanks have been filled to capacity. There are over 50,000 favipiravir tablets and over 15,000 Remdesivir vials in stock in civic hospitals. Officials said they plan to continue use of private hospital beds until December 31.
Apart from testing shopkeepers, hawkers, bus drivers, conductors and people in market places, BMC has started a second round of survey to screen people who were missed out in the first survey under ‘My home my responsibility’. At least 20,000 houses were found shut during the first survey, with its occupants having left for native place. “Several people have returned to the city. So a second round to screen them will be undertaken,” Kakani said.
Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant with Bombay hospital, said “We are also observing how the trend continues. In the Wednesday meeting, we will discuss bed reservation and the way forward in treating patients. It is a good move to test people coming from four other states. This will ensure asymptomatic carriers are detected.”
While Mumbai is seeing a spike, across state there is no noticeable rise in cases. The state recorded 4,153 cases on Monday.
Meanwhile, between April 18 and Sunday night, the Mumbai Police filed complaints against more than 6,000 people for not wearing face masks. Most of these actions, however, were taken as part of special drives with the BMC.
“The BMC is empowered to levy fines on citizens under the BMC Act for not wearing masks. Whenever they conduct special drives, we provide them additional support,” said a senior Mumbai Police official. During such drives, the police also book violators under IPC Section 188 for failing to obey orders issued by the government.
On their own, however, police stations book very few people on a daily basis for failing to cover their faces. According to data provided by the police, eight people were booked on Sunday and four on Saturday. “We conducted a few drives jointly with the BMC before and immediately after Diwali. This is why the number of cases is high in the first half of November,” the official said.
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