9 wards witness spike in doubling rate of Covid-19 cases; slowdown in 2 south Mumbai wards
Two wards in south Mumbai, A ward and B ward, have contributed to a decrease in the average doubling rate in the city.Updated: May 01, 2020 04:59 IST
Nine wards in Mumbai have recorded an alarming drop in the number of days it is taking for Covid-19 positive cases to double. This comes even as the overall doubling rate of the city improved from 8.3 to 10 days between April 17 and 27.
Two wards in south Mumbai, A ward and B ward, have contributed to a decrease in the average doubling rate in the city. In B ward, it earlier took 5.4 days for cases to double, while now it takes approximately 37.6 days for the same. The A ward where earlier it took 3.4 days for cases to double, is now taking 34.2 days.
While the city as a whole is now taking roughly two more days for the number of cases to double, the opposite is true for Chembur (M/West ward), Tardeo and Malabar Hill (D Ward), Bandra East (H/East ward), Marine Lines and Kalbadevi (C ward), Mulund (T ward), Sewri and Parel (F/South ward), Mankhurd (M/East ward), and areas of Dahisar and Borivali (R/North and R/Central ward).
At these nine wards, cases are doubling faster, by anywhere between 0.9 days to 11.4 days.
At least four of these wards are dominated by slums and densely populated chawls, such as the Mankhurd and Govandi area that saw a jump of 110 cases in 10 days; Bandra East which witnessed a spike of 156 cases; Parel and Sewri that saw a jump of 76 cases; Girgaum and Tardeo where cases rose by 121 in 10 days, and Kalbadevi that saw a jump of 21 cases.
In the 10 days between April 17 and April 27, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) monitored and mapped the rise in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in all 24 administrative wards. This confirmed that the average doubling rate in the city had decreased.
A senior civic official said, “It is good news as it implies cases are now multiplying more slowly and people are not transmitting the virus to each other as fast. As for the other nine wards, we have studied reasons for the decrease in doubling rate and are finding customised solutions for each case.”
While it earlier took 16.9 days for the number of cases to double in R Central ward, it has now reduced to five days. Earlier it took 18 days for cases to double in R North ward, but now it takes nine days. Similarly, while earlier it took 13 days for cases to double in T ward, it reduced to 8.4 days.
HT spoke to all ward officers or health officers of the nine wards, and each of them cited that one or a few large clusters were discovered in their ward. However, this was restricted to one area, or one building, or a single slum pocket, and hence, the spread will be easier to curb in the next few days.
Swapnaja Kshirsagar, assistant commissioner of F South ward said, “In the past seven days, my ward organised two fever camps per day, and we discovered 33, 22, 34, and 20 cases on four days alone. I discovered a new slum pocket called India slum which had zero cases until one week ago. Then one positive patient was reported, who was on dialysis and must have caught the infection during his treatment. Fortunately, others who have tested positive are contacts of this patient, so cases are as of now restricted to one pocket.”
Sheetal Mhatre, Shiv Sena corporator from R North ward said, “There has been one new index case living in a slum and the remaining are contacts of this patient.”
As for the C ward, 1/3rd of its total cases have increased only in the past 3-4 days. A health official of the C ward said, “I had organised only one health camp, collected 18 swabs, and 12 of them tested positive. On three consecutive days, we identified 11 cases, seven cases, and five cases respectively. The C ward had managed to keep its cases down as there were more index patients and fewer contact patients. But on one these three days, we found many contact patients living in one building.”
Ward officers believe that a change in policy helped them detect more cases.
A senior civic official said, “More detection leads to more number of cases. Our fever camps and contact tracing has thrown up these numbers. To curb the spread of the virus in these wards, containment, and strict lockdown, shifting people to quarantine centres, and early detection is the key.”
Kishor Gandhi, assistant commissioner of the T ward (Mulund) said, “There are 46 cases in my ward, of which 22 were found in the last 10 days from two large and densely populated slum pockets in my ward.”
While the Ramgad slum in Mulund reported its first case on April 19 and then had a breather of a few days with no new cases, one testing cycle threw up 10 new cases in this slum. Similarly, one testing cycle in Indira Nagar slum in Mulund reported 11 new cases, after it had reported its first case on April 21.
“The good thing is all these cases are high-risk contacts of positive patients and were already in quarantine. Since they were removed from the community, there may be no new threat,” said Gandhi.