A swab test of restaurant employees at Shivaji Park, Dadar.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
A swab test of restaurant employees at Shivaji Park, Dadar.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Mumbai’s next Covid-19 peak will impact both slums and high-rises, says BMC

The civic body has attributed this to unlocking of the city, and opening of malls and eateries, along with domestic helps and drivers returning to work, while at the same time returning to their own homes at the end of the day.
By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON NOV 23, 2020 09:14 PM IST

The next peak in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai, anticipated in December due to the ongoing festival season, is likely to affect both slums and high-rises equally, unlike the peak in May that was concentrated in slums, and the September peak that affected more high-rises in the suburbs, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The civic body has attributed this to unlocking of the city, and opening of malls and eateries, along with domestic helps and drivers returning to work, ferrying their employers around the city, or carrying out chores in high-rises, while at the same time returning to their own homes at the end of the day.

Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “During the first two-three months after the Covid outbreak in Mumbai, our focus was on slums. We set up fever clinics, went door-to-door and carried out contact-tracing in high volumes to move high-risk contacts to institutional quarantine facilities.”

Also read: In case of peak, Mumbai’s health infrastructure can handle upto 17,000 symptomatic Covid-19 cases: Civic body

As the virus gradually shifted to non-slum establishments, BMC started Mission Zero to focus in top six wards in the western suburbs, and conduct door-to-door campaigns in high-rises. Kakani said, “We are now refocusing on slums, but we have to focus equally on high-rises. During our My Family, My Responsibility campaign, many houses in slum and chawls that we found locked will now have opened as labour is returning to Mumbai. At the same time, these people are returning to work in shops and establishments, markets, as domestic helps. The city has unlocked considerably, and everyone is stepping out too.”

Currently, the average growth rate of Covid cases in Mumbai is 0.27%. The top five wards with the highest growth rate are M-West ward in Chembur and K-West ward in Andheri at 0.37%, R-South ward and P-South ward at 0.36%, and T ward in Mulund at 0.34%. B ward of Mumbadevi, Pydhoni and Dongri has the lowest growth rate of 0.10%, followed by E ward in Mumbai Central (0.14%), G-South ward of Worli and Prabhadevi (0.15%), and G-North ward of Dharavi and Dadar (0.16%).

According to data from BMC, at the end of May, the highest number of cases were from G-North ward (2,900), E ward (2,528), F-North ward covering Wadala and Sewri (2517), L ward covering Kurla and parts of Ghatkopar (2,495), H-East ward covering Bandra East (2,221), M-East ward covering Govandi and Mankhurd (1,814), where as non-slum suburban areas of Borivli, Kandivli, Malad, Goregaon, Mulund, and upmarket areas of the island city such as A ward had cases below 1,000.

Also read: Maharashtra won’t allow passengers from 4 states without Covid-negative report

As the city began to gradually open up from June 5, when shops and markets were allowed to remain open, the infection shifted from slums to high-rises. During the second peak, the highest number of active cases were reported in wards corresponding to Borivli, Kandivli, Malad, Goregaon, Mulund, and high-rises of Malabar Hills and Pedder road in south Mumbai.

Meanwhile, after recording over 1000 cases for the past three days in a row, Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 800 new cases and 14 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 2,76,514, and total deaths to 10,689. There are now 12,707 active cases in the city.

On Sunday, Mumbai had recorded 1135 new cases, on Saturday it recorded 1093 new cases, and on Friday it recorded 1031 new cases. Friday’s cases had crossed 1000 for the first time in November.

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