COVID-19 in Mumbai: BMC ups safety net as 18% citizens still carry virus
BL Soni

Even as the doubling period of COVID-19 surpassed the 100-day mark for the first time and its growth rate reduced to 0.69 per cent, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials and members of the Task Force stated that nearly 18 per cent of Mumbai's population is still infected.

“There is no consistent pattern of the COVID-19 virus. The spread is taking place in an haphazard manner and the numbers can go up any moment if safety measures aren't followed again,” said Dr Shashank Joshi from COVID-19 Task Force, Mumbai.

Joshi explained that Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is a parameter by which the Task Force is able to assume whether things are going in the right direction. TPR is the number of people who tested positive out of the total number of tests conducted in a day. “TPR in Mumbai has come down to 18 per cent from 22 per cent in the last few weeks. This means 18 per cent of the entire Mumbai population is still positive. Unless the rate falls to 5 per cent, it's not right to say that Mumbai is doing well," Joshi explained.

“The number of positive patients detected in a day is now varying between 1,000 and 1,500. However, it's too early to say anything," he added. “The number of cases being reported in a single day has fallen to the 1,500-mark from the 2,000- to 2,200-mark, although the number of tests have increased,” said a BMC health officer.

Civic health officials said that they are anticipating a hike in the number of cases between November and December with the onset of winter. “Local train services have been opened now for women. In the following month, more sections of the society would be unlocked. We can't get comfortable this early as the number of cases can rise any minute," the official added.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner Harshad Kale informed that safety norms shouldn't be flouted by Mumbaikars. “BMC is fining rampantly so that people can understand the importance of wearing masks. People need to understand that the prevalence of the pandemic is still there and anyone seen without masks or flouting social distancing norms will be penalised on the spot,” stated Kale.

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