The minimum temperature in the island city fell to 14.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, the second lowest in a decade in the month of March, after Tuesday’s 15 degrees Celsius in the suburbs.
The lowest minimum temperature in the past decade was 12.7 degrees Celsius on March 10, 2012, March 4 and 5, 2013. Doctors said the drop in temperatures is conducive to the growth of the H1N1 virus.
The minimum temperature in south Mumbai was 18.8 degrees Celsius, much lower than the 23.4 degrees Celsius on Monday and 19.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, India Meteorological Department (IMD), said, “The north-westerly winds passing over the city in the day are cold and dry. They are responsible for the chill. However, the direction of the winds changes and becomes easterly at night, so there is a slight rise in temperatures. This trend is expected to continue for the next two days. There will be rain in Vidarbha, Konkan and central Maharashtra over the weekend and early next week.”
On Wednesday, 39 new cases of swine flu were reported. “People should avoid venturing out in the fog. Any flu can result in the death of patients who have some co-morbid conditions,” said Dr Abhay Chaudhary, director, Haffkine Institute.
Doctors said apart from H1N1, another virus influenza H3N2 is present in Mumbai. “We have recorded some cases of H3N2 this year,” said Dr Chaudhary.
In Maharashtra, 2,005 cases of swine flu (H1N1) have been recorded since January, with 170 deaths. On Wednesday, nine swine flu-related deaths were recorded in Solapur, Dhule, Kolhapur districts.
Dr Om Shrivastav, director, infectious disease department, Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road, said, “The number of cases in the city is on the rise. Many children are getting affected.”
Of the 39 cases recorded on Wednesday, 13 were children.
The maximum temperature was 29.3 degrees Celsius at Santacruz and 27.8 degrees Celsius at Colaba.