Mumbai does not need a 100% lockdown: BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal

Mumbai: As Mumbai's doubling rate jumped to 50 days on Monday and the recovery rate increased to 70%, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal emphasised that the financial capital does not need stringent containment measures or 100 per cent lockdown.

According to him, unlike other cities such as Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Mumbai does not need stringent lockdown measures.

“We are going ahead phase-wise. Depending on the success, team BMC is achieving in containing the outspread across our jurisdiction. Full lockdown or stringent containment is needed in areas where the number of active cases is high," Chahal said.

Chahal said that Mumbai had 22,939 active cases as on July 13 while neighbouring Thane had 34430 active cases. He pointed out that cities which are witnessing higher number of active cases and low recovery rate need to implement stringent lockdown measures and need to follow the BMC's “Chase the Virus" strategy.

"Our doubling rate is 50 days now, which is the highest in India. Our discharge/recovery rate has increased to 70%. After our open testing policy (tests without prescriptions), the number of tests has increased from 4000 to 6800 tests per day. We are the only city to implement open testing facility across India."

"Besides this, the total number of positive cases in Mumbai daily has come down from 1500 to 1200. The point that needs to be focussed here is that of these average 1200 cases less than 200 are symptomatic so they need hospital beds, rest are either mild symptoms or are asysmptomatics and need institutional isolation or home quarantine," Chahal told the Free Press Journal.

The growth rate of Mumbai was 1.68% on July 1, the same has come down to 1.36 % as on July 13. Chahal clarified that even if other places in Maharashtra are again contemplating lockdown, BMC is not. Chahal said, "Mumbai does not need it right now, the situation is under control, we have got that grip on the situation."

According to BMC officials, there are only a few problematic areas currently the civic body is focussing more on. This includes Kandivali, Borivali and Dahisar belt in the western suburbs and Wadala, Sewri and Matunga in the city. "The Kandivali, Borivali and Dahisar belt is affected due to its proximity to Vasai-Virar, Mira Bhayandar areas. We closely monitoring Wadala, Sewri and Matunga too. Besides these few places, other areas have shown improvement and growth rate of infection have gone down." said a senior BMC official.

Chahal said the civic body is now implementing target-oriented strategies. "We are working in bringing down the number of cases from 1200 currently to 500 cases per day. It's evident that we are almost there, cases are coming down and recovery rate is increasing."

Talking about hospital beds and availability, Chahal said, "Until Sunday evening after allotting beds to all symptomatic and critical patients, we had 7000 Covid beds & 250 ICUs beds vacant. The situation is more or less similar everyday."

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