Mumbai and Maharashtra witnessed 35 (180 per cent) and 27 (271 per cent) fold rise respectively in the number of active cases in the last 30 days.
According to the civic data, the city has reported 18,424 active cases till March 18 as compared to 6,577 active cases until February 19. Similarly the corona active cases in the state have increased to 1,66,353 from 44,524 during the same period.
Officials have attributed this to the laxity behavior of the citizens in not following the covid norms. Moreover the state health department has predicted that the active cases across the state will cross three-lakh marks by mid-April.
As per the data, 11 of 36 districts in Maharashtra has the highest number of active cases including Pune (35,539), Nagpur (24,209), Mumbai (18,524), Thane (15,548), Nashik (11,037), Aurangabad (10,340), Jalgaon (4,448), Nanded (4,738), Akola (3,853), Amravati (3,751) and Yavatmal (3,286).
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, state advisor on COVID-19, said there is a need of adopting strict measures on a local level across the state to curb the rising number of cases on a daily basis. Moreover there is a possibility cases will keep rising and active cases will increase to three lakhs until mid-April.
“Looking at the pattern and the incubation period, we could see such high numbers till April 15 following which the state government should conduct more number of tests and covid-19 vaccination. Moreover local authorities should take strict measures in the areas against the defaulters who are flouting covid-19 norms. Authorities should keep a check on positive patients in home quarantine as well to ensure it is not being flouted,” he said.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC said the increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases is a result of careless behavior of the citizens as they feel corona will not struck them again. Moreover the shift in the spread of Covid-19 from slums to high rises and resumption in local train services is causing surge “As more affluent people are now turning positive, the rate of self-admission in private hospitals has increased, and these residents are opting to prolong their treatment in a private hospital,” he said.
Task-force members indicated that this could spell trouble for the city, as it is a sign it’s COVID graph, which had begun to stabilize, is showing an upward curve again, due to Mumbai’s unlock plans, and the citizens have become carefree and do not follow basic protocols of wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. This is not a good sign for Mumbai, especially since it has opened up considerably. If this trend continues, Covid-19 cases could increase at an alarming rate again, and Mumbai may have to undergo strict restrictions or lockdown, yet again.
“One of the main reasons for an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases is lack of COVID-related hygiene, arising from ‘COVID fatigue’ among citizens. Yet another reason is lack of faith in the civic body, as many people do not want to shift to institutional quarantine facilities, so do not rest until the 4th or 5th day after they have got symptoms. Moreover, in such cases, they interact with a lot more people meanwhile, and the infection rapidly spreads,” said Dr Deepak Baid, president, Association of Medical Consultants.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said the increase in numbers is a matter of concern which needs to be addressed very aggressively with proper protocol in place. Moreover they are closely monitoring each district for the next 15 days to check the spread of the virus. “People from many states and abroad have started moving in Maharashtra including Mumbai following which we can see the surge in daily cases. The government should take strict steps soon, otherwise the number may increase further,” he said.