At 426, city records May’s lowest case count on TuesdayUpdated: May 12, 2020, 23:37 IST
After a consistent spike in Covid-19 cases in the last 10 days, on Tuesday Mumbai recorded only 426 cases – the lowest daily count in May. However, on the same day, the city recorded 28 deaths – the highest number related to the coronavirus in a single day.
Earlier, the lowest daily count this month was recorded on May 3, when 441 cases reported.
Of the 28 deaths reported on Tuesday, 17 patients had co-morbidities like hypertension and diabetes. Among those who died, 10 were above 60 years. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also discharged 203 patients across various hospitals in the city on Tuesday. To date, 3,313 patients have recovered and been discharged, according to data released by the BMC.
Dharavi reported 46 new cases, with one death, on Tuesday, taking the tally in this slum cluster to 962 positive cases and 31 deaths. Of the 46, eight cases were detected from Matunga labor camp, seven cases from Dharavi crossroad, and three each from Dharavi main road, Rajiv Gandhi Road, and Kureshi Nagar. Dharavi currently has 213 containment zones.
Assistant commissioner Kiran Dighavkar, G North ward, said, “BMC has decided to sealed boundaries of 13 high-risk zones in Dharavi to avoid further spread of the disease.”
Along with Dharavi, Dadar and Mahim in G-North ward recorded 11 and six new Covid -19 cases respectively.
The percentage of novel coronavirus cases compared to samples tested in Mumbai has increased to 33% on May 11, from 20% on April 30. The current Covid detection rate of the city is speeding ahead of the national average of 4.3% and the state average of 7%. This has raised questions about the way the Mumbai civic body is tackling the outbreak.
The BMC tested 3,460 samples on April 30; 3,595 samples on May 1, and 3,107 samples on May 2, against which, Mumbai recorded 695, 797, and 592 Covid -19 positive cases the same day, with a detection rate of 20%, 22%, and 19%.
However, the detection rate increased further by May 11. BMC tested 2,939 samples on May 10 and 2,359 samples on May 11, against which the city recorded 875 and 782 Covid-19 cases, with a detection rate of 29% and 33%.
Civic officials said that this was due to the change in testing protocol targeted at containment zones. Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “Detection rate is increasing because of the increased number of testing samples per day. Often, pending test results were added to a particular day’s count. Hence it did not give us proper clarity.”
“If we calculated the detection rate against 124,000 samples tested with 14,521 positive cases, then the detection rate remains 11.71%. This figure is higher than the state and national average because of targeted testing conducted by BMC in contaminated zones,” added Kakani.
However, civic health activists have alleged that the civic body is toying with the coronavirus figures.
City-based health activist Rajan Dhage said, “Instead of dealing with the situation, civic officials were busy playing with Covid-19 figures. Hence, they are not releasing Covid testing data daily.”
Meanwhile, BMC has started using a new drug ‘Injection Tociluzumab’ in Sion, Nair, KEM, and Seven Hills hospitals to treat Covid positive patients. It has been used in approximately 40 severe cases so far and encouraging results have been seen in more than 30 patients, 14 of whom have recovered and been discharged. According to civic officials, the drug has improved the condition of the patients and prevented the need for assisted breathing via a ventilator.