The imposition of tougher restrictions in Mumbai appears to be helping – the number of new corona cases have been falling over the last 10 days, a 43 per cent drop since April 14. There were 9,925 cases were reported on that day, which dropped to 5,888 on April 24. Officials have attributed this drop to the early diagnosis of the cases, increased testing and restrictions imposed by the state government following which cases are under control.
As per the data shared by the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 9,225 corona cases were reported on April 14, which dropped to 8,217 the following day, after which there was a slight increase -- 8,839 and 8,843 on April 16 and 17. But from April 18, cases dropped below 8,000 for the next five days, until April 24, when only 5,888 cases were reported in a single day.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said the implementation of restrictions across the city was yielding good results. People are now coming forward to take the vaccine, which too has caused a dip in the infection rate. “For the last three or four days, there has not been much increase in the cases and numbers are now going down. We only urge citizens to follow Covid norms strictly, so this downward trend continues. Moreover, 87 per cent of the active cases are asymptomatic, while only 2-3 per cent are critical and need to be hospitalised,” he said.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, consultant pulmonologist, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, said that this was an extremely positive sign. “It’s a reflection possibly of a peak being reached and is almost certainly aided by the present restrictions. The curbs on gatherings of people (such as marriages) and indoor gatherings (restaurants, religious places, gyms) have probably contributed the most, as these tend to be high-spreader events,” he said.
While Dr Pinto believes that the numbers would come down further, he added, “Unfortunately, the peak incidence of deaths is likely to occur over the next 2-3 weeks, and we can anticipate ICUs and high-dependency units being stretched to their limits over the next 2-3 weeks”.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce said that people have to become “more responsive” because “unless and until we get citizens’ cooperation for Covid-appropriate behaviour, mandatory masking policy, zero tolerance for violators, we cannot say that the worst is over. So, we have to maintain some tightness in adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour and protocols,” he said.
“There was a rapid scale-up of tests and when Mumbai started testing more than 50,000 cases, the test positivity rate which was, 25 per cent a week or 10 days ago, is now starting to hover at 16-18 per cent. In the last 3-4 days, there is a trend of a plateauing effect and we wish and pray that the worst is over,” he added.