Mumbai fares better or faces a situation akin to New York
ET spoke to several officials from the state government, health department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). They said Mumbai recording more than 100 cases daily over the past two days is an indication of the virus spread peaking. However, they hoped that the number will start falling over the next week. There is, however, a worrying caveat.
“Studying global trends and the spread of the disease, so far, in Mumbai, we can say that we may possibly even get 200 to 300 cases per day in the next five-six days. We are geared up for that but expect and hope that the numbers will fall after this six-day period. However, if this peak or surge continues for the next 10 days, then we may see a situation similar to that in Italy or New York,” said a health department official.
In simple terms, the surge will mean the number of cases doubling and tripling. For instance, till two weeks ago, Mumbai was seeing only a handful of cases. It then rose to 50 cases per day and now to more than 100 daily in the last few days. Within 12 hours on Thursday morning, the city saw 48 more cases.
BMC, which has been doing aggressive testing has now ramped up its scale. As many as 1,500 tests are being conducted daily.
The civic body has formed teams to check not just hot spots but also every municipal ward to spot anyone with symptoms of cough, cold and fever.
A state govt official said the majority of the cases in the state was because of people who had arrived from Saudi Arabia, UAE and other West Asian countries, which were not in the central list of countries to be quarantined. He, however, said over the last few days, the Nizamuddin Markaz connection has also been identified as several of those who attended the gathering had returned to the state. The effect is particularly seen in Mumbai’s slum pockets such as Dharavi.
Giving an example of how tough it is to check the spread of the virus in slums, a civic official said, “An infected person in the slums has contact with at least 30 other people. So, the spread is much higher and we have to work that much harder to trace the contacts of all these 30 people as well,” said the official.
The spread of the virus not just surged in Dharavi but other slum clusters such as Bandra East. BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi announced on Thursday that anyone roaming outside, in cars or at work would have to mandatorily wear a mask or else be prepared to be arrested and a police case will be registered. The order is compulsory even for state government officials.
Sources said the number of cases in Pune districts has worried the state. The Pune administration saw new cases from various parts of the city in the last few days. Consequently on Tuesday, the Pune administration decided to enforce curfew in five zones of the city to curb people movement. The curfew will be relaxed only for two hours.