Mumbai: City’s average infection growth increases, doubling rate declines

As Mumbai is witnessing a rapid surge in daily coronavirus cases over the last one month, the city’s average growth of infection and doubling rates — indicative factors of the extent of the spread of the infection in the city have seen a sharp increase and a dip, respectively.

The average growth rate of infection in the city has increased from 0.12 per cent in February 1 to 0.69 per cent on March 22.

On Monday, the city recorded 3,260 new cases, taking its total case count of the city to 3,65,914. The city's recovery rate has dropped to 90 per cent. The overall growth rate of infection in the city was 0.29 per cent on March 6 which jumped to 0.39 per cent on March 14 and on Monday, March 22 it increased to 0.69 per cent.

The average growth rate of infection in at least four of the 24 wards is nearing 1 per cent, while many other wards are following the bandwagon. This according to BMC officials is a worrisome trend.

As of March 21, four city wards comprising Chembur, Andheri, Bandra and Goregaon have the highest growth rate much above the city's overall growth rate. Top of the list is K West ward (Andheri, Versova, Juhu) and it has a growth rate of 0.97 per cent, the growth rate of K (West) was 0.56 per cent on March 14. After K West is M (West) ward (Govandi, Chembur) with a growth rate of 0.96 per cent, followed by H West (Bandra West and Khar) with 0.94 per cent and P (South) ward (Goregaon) with 0.93 per cent.

At least 12 of the total 24 wards have over 1,000 active cases currently and K West ward has 2,285 active cases as of March 22.

The city's doubling rate too has declined drastically. Doubling time is the number of days required for the number of cases in an epidemic to double, based on the rate of the cumulative increase in the number of cases. The doubling time is a crude estimate of the current rate of spread of the virus.

The current overall doubling rate of cases on January 2 was 361 days it dropped to 176 days on March 14. As of March 22, the average doubling rate of infection in the city has dropped to 97 days. K west has the poorest doubling rate among all 24 wards in the city with 71 days.

"These indicators point out the extent of the spread of infection across the city and cannot be ignored. While we are trying to workout on bringing down the number of cases by scaling up containment measures. Our focus now is also on preventing deaths due to covid19," said a senior BMC official.

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