Mumbai Covid hospitalisations at all-time low
On Friday, only one new patient was hospitalised in Mumbai, and the total number of hospitalisations stood at 74, of which seven were critical
MUMBAI: The city’s Covid-19 hospitalisations dropped below 100 this week, a first since April 2020, a month after the pandemic began, officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
On Friday, only one new patient was hospitalised in Mumbai, and the total number of hospitalisations stood at 74, of which seven were critical. The number first dropped below 100 on Wednesday, when the city had around 90 patients hospitalised. “This is the first time since the pandemic that hospitalisations have dropped to two digits,” said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani. “Even when the first and second waves were waning, the city’s daily caseload did not drop to what we are seeing now. Hospitalisations, therefore, were also on the higher side,” he said.
Mumbai was the epicentre of the first and second waves in the country. The third wave, which began in the third week of December 2021, peaked in the city on January 7 this year with 20,971 cases, a day on which 1,395 Covid-positive patients were hospitalised, according to BMC data, taking the total number of hospitalisations to 6,531. Among these, 2,385 patients needed oxygen support.
Mumbai had a total 35,645 beds available on that day, which meant that 18.3% of those were occupied. That number has been steadily declining since the end of January and dropped to less than 100 this week, thanks mostly due to the city recording fewer than 100 cases every day since February 28. On Friday, Mumbai recorded 48 new cases and zero deaths. When the first wave began waning in December 2020, the city continued to record an average of 650 cases every day. The second wave too had a thick tail. By July 2021, when the decline of the second wave became visible, the city recorded an average of 470 new cases every day and by November 2021 when the second was considered over, the city was recording an average of 233 cases daily.
The city’s first case of Covid-19 was reported on March 11, 2020. About a month later, by April 5, the city had 2595 patients admitted. However, during the initial months, all positive patients were admitted for medical observation.
According to Kakani, looking at the current trends, the civic body has directed all the hospitals to focus on non-Covid procedures. “We are directing all Covid patients to jumbo centres, but hospitals have retained small Covid wards in case we see a sudden surge,” said Kakani adding that the civic body has also temporarily stopped enforcing the 80:20 scheme through which they had taken over the majority of beds in the private hospitals.
At the Seven Hills Hospital in Marol – one of the BMC-run jumbo Covid centres – only 15 beds were occupied, including eight Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. “We last saw occupancy in three digits on February 16 when we had 102 patients. The count dropped to 91 the next day and since then it has only been declining,” said Dr Smita Chavan, deputy dean of the facility. “All the patients in the ICU are above 65 years and with severe comorbid conditions. Most of them have a prolonged hospital stay over two weeks. Four patients are critical,” she said.
Many hospitals across the city have had zero admissions over the past few weeks. Powai’s Hiranandani Hospital, for instance, had no Covid patients in its 10-bed BMC ward as well as in its 12-bed private ward. “There has been a significant drop in hospitalisations since the past two-three weeks,” said infectious disease specialist Dr Neeraj Tulara. “The third wave is definitely over, but we still need to be vigilant and continue taking precautions to avoid any further surge,” he said.