Civic officials fear surge in Covid cases during Diwali

Mumbai: Although the city has recorded a fall in the number of active cases and presently has a doubling period over 200 days, civic health officials stated that Mumbaikars still needs to be careful as festivity week is round the corner.

Presently the average growth rate of Mumbai is 0.33 per cent and period of doubling stands at 208 days. Four civic wards have a doubling period more than 300 days and eleven wards have doubling period of more than 200 days. Of all the 24 wards, the R Central (Borivli) ward has the lowest doubling rate of 150 days.

The G North ward (Dadar, Mahim and Dharavi) has the highest doubling period and lowest growth rate in Mumbai. Dharavi which once was a hotbed of COVID has reported cases in single digits over the past one week including three days when Dharavi reported only one case.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner and ward officer Kiran Dighavkar had stated that throughout the ward, Dharavi model is being implemented and those seen without masks were fined rampantly.

"To ensure there is no overcrowding we have been fining aggressively and shopkeepers at Dadar market area have also stated that they aren't allowing customers, unless they are wearing masks" Dighavkar had told FPJ.

On Saturday a senior health official stated the increased rate of doubling doesn't establish that the city is out of danger.

"The high doubling rate doesn't imply that the growth of the infection has stopped, it implies that there's growth but at slower pace it won't take much time for the growth rate to increase if people starts being casual again" stated the official.

Meanwhile, in the recently concluded door to door survey - 'My Family, My Responsibility' campaign', the BMC had found out that nearly six lakh houses in Mumbai are presently locked. Officials stated that most of these residents have went to their hometowns during the lockdown and may return during the festive season.

"When the unlocking started happening many people went out of Mumbai in order to stay safe. Now the situation is improving so there is a chance these people would start returning during Diwali or after the festive season, which is why there could be a rise in number of cases again if people aren't safe" the official added.

He also mentioned that now the number of tests have increased by 25 per cent while the positive rate is below 1,000 mark now but this won't last long if people start being casual again.

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