First fortnight of October saw 25% rise in Mumbai’s Covid-19 cases, say officialsUpdated: Oct 19, 2020, 01:16 IST
The city has seen a spike of 25% in Covid-19 cases recorded in the first 15 days of October, as compared to the first fortnight of September. Authorities have attributed the surge to more testing in the city, even as experts have warned that infections could balloon in the upcoming festive season.
According to data by the state health department, Mumbai recorded 25,888 cases between September 1 and September 15 but in the first 15 days of this month, it added 32,371 cases.
The city’s testing also went up by 20% during the same period. While around 1.62 lakh tests were conducted in the first half of September, the city conducted 1.95 lakh tests in the first half of this month.
“The Covid-19 situation in Mumbai is under control, despite relaxing more restrictions and the festival season. However, a large number of citizens do not wear face masks and this can lead to the situation getting difficult in future,” municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Chahal also said that although the number of daily cases has increased, other factors such as mortality, bed availability, recoveries and active cases ratio have improved in October as compared to that in September.
“Cases are going up only because we are testing more. In the coming days, BMC plans to augment capacity for testing around 20,000 samples daily,” he had said last month.
Currently, Mumbai conducts 15,000 tests everyday.
Experts too, have stressed on the need for increased testing.
Private health consultant Dr Siddarth Paliwal said, “Within the next one month, there will hardly be any restriction. But as we unlock, the testing has to go up significantly. In a city like Mumbai, we should be testing around 30,000 samples everyday.”
Another expert Dr Shashank Joshi, who is the member of Maharashtra’s Covid-19 task force, recently wrote in a medical journal, “In order to close the Covid-19 tap, we need to test aggressively and early at the first suspicion or symptom to limit further exposure and transmission by isolation. Only way to truly contain the virus is aggressive tracking and tracing every single contact and ensuring they are supervised and tested.”
In September, BMC had said that the Covid-19 situation is unlikely to improve until the end of this year owing to the festivals lined up in the next three months (Navratri in October, Diwali in November and Christmas in December). In August, an increase in the number of cases was witnessed after thousands of citizens thronged to markets ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the city reported 1,600 cases, taking the tally to 241,935, while the toll surged to 9,739 after 46 new deaths were recorded. The fatality rate in the city is of 4.02%.
Until Sunday, 210,782 patients have been discharged from Covid-19 facilities after treatment, taking the city’s recovery rate to 87.12%. Currently, there are 20,907 active cases.
Dharavi, that was previously a Covid-19 hotspot, recorded 17 new cases on Sunday, taking its tally to 3,417. Of these, 2,967 patients have recovered.