Coronavirus in Mumbai: Active cases in city up 80% in just one month

Mumbai has witnessed a 79.54 per cent rise in the number of active cases in just one month. As on September 17, there were 32,849 active cases compared to the 18,297 reported on August 21, with the burden having steadily grown, week after week. Civic and health officials have attributed this surge to the lax behaviour of the public during Ganeshotsav as well as the increased Covid-19 testing in the city.

According to the data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the city had reported 45,876 cases between August 21 and September 17, making for a daily average of 1,638 cases. Active cases in this period also showed a rise. There were 1,298 active cases between August 21 and August 27, which increased to 2,161 (August 28 to September 3), 5,496 (September 4-10) and 6,143 (September 11-17).

Active cases are calculated by deducting the sum of the number of discharged patients and the number of deaths from the total number of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said the increase in the number of active Covid-19 cases was a result of the recent unlocking, Ganeshotsav and because of the shift in the spread of the virus from slums to high-rises. “As more affluent people are now testing positive, the rate of self-admission in private hospitals has increased and these patients are opting to prolong their treatment in a private hospital,” he said.

The state's Covid taskforce members have indicated that this uptick in active cases could spell trouble for the city, as it indicates that its Covid curve, which had begun to stabilise, is climbing up again, since people have become careless about wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Given that Mumbai has opened up considerably, this is a cause for concern and if the trend of rising active cases continues, Mumbai may have to tighten its lockdown, yet again.

“One of the main reasons for an increase in the number of cases is the 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 they do not rest until the 4th or 5th day after exhibiting symptoms. By this time, they have interacted with a lot more people and the infection rapidly spreads,” said Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the Covid-19 taskforce in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, Borivli has topped the list of worst-affected areas in the city with over 10,000 cumulative cases. Besides, the ward also has the highest number of active cases. It is the only ward among the 24 administrative wards to have over 2,000 active cases as on September 17.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner of R Central ward Bhagyashree Kapse (Borivli and part of Charkop), said that a major spike in cases was witnessed in Borivli and the adjoining areas, after Ganesh Chaturthi. "Initially, most of the positive cases in R Central ward consisted of frontline workers and their high-risk contacts. However, post-Ganesh Chaturthi, people stepped out without fear. People have no regards for social distancing rules. It made our efforts go down the drain and cases started rising," said Kapse.

ACTIVE CASES

SEPT 17- 32,849

Aug 21- 18,297

Percentage increase - 79.54%

Weekly growth of active cases

Sept 11-17: 6,143

Sept 4-10: 5,496

Aug 28-Sept 3: 2,161

Aug 21-27: 1,298

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