ICMR puts Mumbai on list of cities to undergo blood surveillance to check exposure to virus
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has selected Mumbai as one of the 10 hotspot cities and 60 districts in the country to conduct sero-surveillance, or a survey by which the presence of specific substances in the blood serum of a population is monitored. On Wednesday, the city recorded 1,044 new cases of Covid-19 cases and 32 new deaths, taking the total number of cases in the city to 34,018, and deaths to 1,097. Mumbai now accounts for 62.99% of all Covid-positive cases in Maharashtra and 57.82% of all deaths due to Covid-19 in the state.
Sero-surveillance in Mumbai is expected to help determine the spread of Covid-19 in the general population and their exposure to the infection. The result of the survey will help determine guidelines to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 in high-risk areas.
There are 24,507 active cases of Covid-19 in Mumbai, and 8,408 patients have recovered so far. Mumbai’s mortality rate stands at 3.22%. At present, the city accounts for 65.99% of Maharashtra’s active Covid-19 cases.
Five clusters have been randomly identified for ICMR’s survey: Kandivli (West) and Kandivli (East), Dharavi, Deonar, Kurla, and Sakinaka. The survey will collect blood samples from individuals in randomly-selected households and test them for Covid antibodies. Presence of antibodies in the blood is a sign of exposure to the virus. This will be done after taking patients’ consent and their detailed history. Five hundred individuals from these five clusters will be selected for the survey in Mumbai.
On Wednesday, Dharavi saw a dip in the number of new cases, reporting 18 new cases after recording higher numbers for the past few days (38 new cases were reported on Tuesday; 42 on Monday, and 27 on Sunday). Assistant commissioner of the G (North) ward, which has jurisdiction over Dharavi, Kiran Dighavkar said, “The last time number of cases were in the teen figures was April 18, when Dharavi had reported 16 new cases. Then the total number of cases in Dharavi was 117.”
The total number of Covid-positive in Dharavi is 1,639, of which 946 are active. As of Wednesday, 41.8% of Dharavi’s total cases have been cured and discharged.
As of Wednesday, there are 689 containment zones in the city, and 2,908 sealed buildings. There are 16,719 high-risk contacts quarantined in Covid care centres-1.
About 75% of the total 18,142 beds available for Covid-19 patients are occupied as of May 25. These beds include oxygen beds, beds in intensive care units, ventilator beds, dedicated Covid hospital beds, dedicated Covid health centre beds, and beds in Covid care centres-2, which are for mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Of the total 4,116 oxygen beds, 63% are occupied. Of the 644 beds in ICUs, 96% are occupied and 66% of the 359 ventilator beds are occupied.
BMC is also setting up an online portal that will be accessible to doctors who want to check the availability of dialysis beds in the city for confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients. Comorbidity is one of the main factors contributing to mortality in Covid-19 patients and patients who need dialysis are among the most vulnerable. At present, there are 92 dialysis beds for such patients, according to BMC.