Mumbai: A slight upturn in Covid cases in western suburbs, but BMC sounds the alarm

Residential high-rises of Goregaon, Malad and Kandivli have witnessed a slight spike in daily Covid-19 cases in the past one week.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, till July 5, wards of P-South (Goregaon), P-North (Malad) and R-South (Kandivli) had been recording 25-30 cases per day. However, as per June 11 data, these wards recorded 35-45 cases every day. Civic officials have maintained that most of these cases are being reported from housing societies and the tally from slum areas is much lower.

A civic official said the population density in these wards is higher than most other wards. “PN ward is the largest in terms of population; in comparison, the turnout of cases has been low,” the official said. He also added that more cases are being reported owing to the lifting of restrictions after the lockdown.

He said people have either not initiated vaccination or have taken only a single dose, but have started venturing out without inhibitions. “Due to cluster cases, we have sealed several floors in many of these buildings,” he added. According to BMC data, there are 268 buildings with sealed floors in Kandivli, 153 in Malad and 32 in Goregaon.

Another civic official said though the numbers are dropping in many areas, they are not going below a certain point. “In wards that have high population density – Andheri, Bandra, Borivli – the daily case tally is not falling below 25-30. We are yet to ascertain the reason,” he said.

Meanwhile, the lesser-populated wards like B and C, which are mainly commercial zones, have been recording cases in single digits for a long time now, the official said. “There is a stark difference between the numbers. To find out the reason, we are conducting a study, the report for which is expected by month-end,” he said.

Earlier this month, the BMC had resumed door-to-door testing in some residential wards of western suburbs. Officials have said many of the fresh cases are now being detected through doorstep tests, which is helping them trace high-risk contacts on a daily basis.

An official said, “We are collecting 100-200 samples every day from the door-to-door survey. At least 50% of daily cases are reported from these samples.”

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