There is a progressive decline in the monthly growth rate of new Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, which for August stands at 27.5 per cent. For the preceding months of July and June, the growth rate for Mumbai was 47 per cent and 95.6 per cent respectively.
In absolute numbers too, there is a steady fall in new cases – from 37,972 in June to 36,626 cases in July and 31,521 cases in August. Civic officials are hopeful that based on this trend the positivity rate will be lesser still for the month of September.
On Wednesday, however, Mumbai saw an unusual spike with 1,622 fresh Covid cases recorded by BMC. From August 28 till September 1, less than 1,500 cases had been recorded daily.
BMC data shows monthly Covid-19 tests have grown from 1.32 lakh in June to 2.03 lakh in July, and to 2.25 lakh in August, but while tests have increased the positivity rate has declined from 18.3 per cent in June to 17.9 per cent in July and 13.4 per cent in August. The decline indicates that more people have already been exposed to the virus and a small population is now getting fresh infections.
A second sero-survey is about to get over in three wards Chembur, Dahisar and Matunga to assess by what extent sero prevalence has increased in the slums and non-slum areas since July when the first survey was undertaken. Dr Ullas Kolthur, from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, who is collaborating with BMC on the sero-survey, said they have covered 100 per cent samples in two of the three wards. “We managed to obtain 100 per cent numbers except in M-West,” he said. The results of second sero-survey are expected by mid-September. The first survey found 57 per cent in slums and 16 per cent in non-slums exposed to Covid-19.
According to additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani, BMC is now opening up hospitals for non-Covid services as city is recording only 100-200 admissions of the total new cases found. Most Covid-19 cases are under home isolation with mild or no symptoms. “But we are also prepared for a spike after Unlock 4.0 when movement is further relaxed,” he added.
Maximum containment zones in Mumbai are in L ward (Kurla), S ward (Bhandup), R North (Borivali West), and K East (Andheri East) where cases continue to remain higher than other wards. At present, 2,504 patients are under institutional quarantine. Of 20,325 active cases, only 6,433 have symptoms but remain stable, and another 998 are critical, 4.9 per cent of active cases.
BMC data shows until August 29 of 16,454 beds, 2,130 beds in Covid care centres, 4,920 in dedicated Covid health facilities and 1,283 beds in dedicated Covid hospitals remain vacant. The focus has shifted from Mumbai to Pune and few other districts noticing a spike. Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said they are closely monitoring Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, and Nashik where cases are fast rising.