As a silver lining to the lockdown, there has been a 34.53 per cent drop in the number of active cases across Mumbai in the last one month. According to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data, there were 77,495 active cases as on April 6, which further reduced to 54,472 as on May 6. Officials have attributed the drop to the measures it took last month, of which the Break The Chain mission and the implementation of strict restrictions have played a vital role.
Meanwhile, the cases reported daily for the last one week is below 5,000 and it is expected to drop more by the next week. Suresh Kakani, additional municipal corporation, BMC, said the restrictions have helped curb it. “We only urge citizens to follow the COVID-19 norms strictly so that the trend continues downward. Moreover, 87 per cent of the active cases is asymptomatic. Only 2 per cent to 3 per cent is critical and needs to be hospitalised,” he said.
Kakani further said their main concern is now to contain the mortality rate. All COVID-19 hospitals have been directed to follow Mission Save Lives. “Every death is unfortunate. However, if we see the overall picture, the daily death 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 task force, said 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, but then land up in 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 this was 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 gatherings 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 numbers will drop further. “Unfortunately, the peak incidence of deaths is likely to occur over the next 2 to 3 weeks. We can anticipate ICUs and high dependency units being stretched to their limits in this period,” he added.