Bringing a sign of relief for Mumbaikars, the city saw an eight per cent drop in the number of active cases in the last 10 days. According to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, there were 92,464 active cases as of April 11, which reduced to 84,743 on April 21. Officials attributed many factors, like the enforcement of curbs and the Break The Chain mission, amongst others, to it. For the last one week, the city had been reporting around 7,000 to 9,000 cases. And, it is expected to drop further by next week.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, informed that the restrictions have helped contain the number of cases. “We only urge citizens to follow the COVID-19 norms strictly to be able to contain the spread of the virus. Currently, 87 per cent of the active cases are asymptomatic. Only 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the patients are critical and need to be hospitalised,” he said.
The main concern of the BMC now is to curb the mortalities in the city. For this, all COVID-19 hospitals have been directed to follow Mission Save lives, informed Kakani. “Every death is unfortunate. However, if we see the overall picture, the daily mortality rate is still under 0.6. Even our overall case fatality rate, which was 5 in October-November 2020, has dropped to 2.1,” said Kakani. “The city’s death rate due to COVID-19 this month is lower than the national average,” he added.
Dr Rahil Pandit, a member of the state COVID-19 task force, pointed that there is possibly a change in the disease pattern. “The COVID-19 cycle is usually two to three weeks long. For the first one week to 10 days, youngsters remain asymptomatic. Then, they land up in the hospital with a cytokine storm,” he said. Cytokine storms are a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines or proteins into the blood too quickly.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, said that the drop in the number of active cases is an extremely positive sign. Moreover, it is a reflection possibly of us reaching a peak and is almost certainly aided by the present restrictions. “The curbs on the gathering of people (such as marriages) and indoor gatherings (restaurants, religious places and gyms) have probably contributed the most, as these tend to be high spreader events,” he said. Moreover, Dr Pinto believes that the number will drop further. He added, “Unfortunately, the peak incidents of death is likely to occur over the next 2 to 3 weeks. We can anticipate ICUs and high dependency units being stretched to their limits during this period,” he added.