Updated on: Saturday, January 08, 2022, 09:10 AM IST

Mumbai: No lockdown needed, despite COVID-19 surge, says BMC chief Iqbal Chahal

BMC chief  Iqbal Chahal | File

BMC chief Iqbal Chahal | File


Reiterating state public health minister Rajesh Tope’s words of relief that there is no immediate need for imposing a lockdown or additional restrictions in Mumbai, municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal said on Friday that the criterion is not just the positivity rate.

“In the new wave, two new criteria are occupancy of hospital beds and oxygen requirement,” Chahal said. Of over 20,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus in Mumbai on Thursday, only 1,180 were hospitalised and 110 were on oxygen support, he said, adding that as many as 5,900 out of 35,000 hospital beds are occupied.

“At least 83 per cent beds are currently vacant and oxygen requirement is not even 10 per cent. During the second wave, we used 235 MT oxygen (per day). Considering these factors, there is no need for lockdown in the current situation,” Chahal said. He conceded that since December 21 last year the positivity rate has gone up significantly. But in the last 16 days, the city recorded only 17 deaths. Active cases have crossed one lakh, but the death rate is only one per day, he said. “We are keeping a close eye on the situation.

I personally review things three to four times a day,” the commissioner said. The civic body chief, however, warned against complacency. Omicron infection is not like flu but it is a virus, he said, urging people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and use masks.

When a person tests positive using a self-testing kit, the information gets updated on the ICMR’s website and through it, the BMC gets information, Chahal said. On Thursday, 3,800 people in Mumbai used selftesting kits and 288 of them came out positive. This number was included in the daily tally, he said.

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Published on: Saturday, January 08, 2022, 09:10 AM IST