Days after the number of Covid-19 cases started reducing in Mumbai, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani, in an interview with The Free Press Journal reporter Swapnil Mishra, said cases have started to stabilise but one cannot jump to any conclusions and the coming days are most crucial.
The civic body is well prepared, equipped with medicines, beds and oxygen supply to tackle a rise in cases and hospitalisations.
How is the Covid situation in Mumbai right now?
The situation is improving. Daily cases have reduced compared to the last few days. Since December 21, the curve had an upward trend but in the last 4-5 days the cases have stabilised. Yesterday and today the cases have reduced. This week is more crucial for us because we will get to know if the cases have a downward or an uneven trend.
This will help us to prepare for the next course of action. But actually, it seems the situation is improving rapidly. It was anticipated by the task force and other specialised doctors that during the third week of January, the cases will start declining and the situation will improve.
So we are expecting this improvement but it is too early to comment, we have to wait for a few more days to reach a certain conclusion.
There were several projections. What is happening is in accordance with those or are we seeing something different?
This time we did not get into projecting figures because our vaccination rate is very high at more than 90 per cent of the double dose and 107 per cent of the single dose. Overall inputs indicated that the transmissibility of this virus is higher but the severity is less, or rather it is the milder version of the coronavirus and that is what we are experiencing.
Therefore, we did not get into projecting figures but have kept our resources and infrastructure ready to accommodate more than 35,000 patients. This augmentation will be continued and we will not let our guard down. We are on high alert mode in case more beds are required. We can scale up the number of beds, the oxygen supply, medicine supply and manpower supply as well.
Do we have enough stock of medicines if cases and hospitalisations increase?
Most of the medicines are in place, some are in the procurement process but till now there has not been any shortage of medicine, beds, ICU beds or ventilator beds. Similarly, the oxygen supply is also well in place.
So we are not facing any difficulty of any sort to admit or manage the patients.
Are you expecting the number of cases to go beyond 40,000?
As I said earlier, we are not anticipating the number but we are keeping our resources ready so that if the cases increase we would be able to provide beds to the patients who need it.
How many cases are you expecting in a single day, especially in the next crucial week?
In a single day, on the lower side, definitely, we may get around 12,000 cases. It is a declining trend but we are not confirming the downward trend. We have decided to wait and watch during this coming week so that we can confirm whether the cases are really coming down. But it seems that the cases are coming down and it is a downward trend. Of course, we are expecting that would reach three digits. So, hopefully, it will get there soon.
Currently, through genome sequencing, most of the patients are testing positive for omicron. Have you observed any new variant apart from Omicron, Delta derivative and the Delta variant?
No, we haven't come across any new variant. When someone is symptomatic, we always advise them to first go for an RTPCR test followed by the Sgene missing test and then genome sequencing. So even if something gets missed in the RTPCR test the S gene missing test will be of some help and then the genome sequencing can be done.
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