Mumbai has reported a five per cent rise in tuberculosis (TB) cases owing to delayed detection and reporting of cases from April 2021 to February 2022.
According to the Health Management Information System (HMIS) data, 5,562 cases have been reported in Mumbai, which means daily 15 patients are being admitted to city hospitals for treatment, compared to 5,298 cases were reported between April 2020 and March 2021. Officials have attributed this slight surge to several TB cases being notified after Covid relaxation as during the pandemic TB patients were scared to visit the hospital for treatment fearing contracting Covid-19.
As per available data, in the last five years, 29,988 TB cases have been reported in the city, of which 4,640 were reported in 2018, which increased to 7,877 in 2019. However, the numbers dropped to 6,611 in 2020 and further to 5,298 in 2021. There was a slight surge in 2022, with 5,562 TB cases being reported.
Senior doctor from the TB hospital in Sewri said the number of admissions has increased by 51 per cent since last year. “Since the relaxation has started, the number of patients have also increased as public transportation has opened up,” he said.
Along with public hospitals, private hospitals have started witnessing a spike, too. “People know that the infection is there to stay among us longer. There is no point waiting for the virus to die off. So, people have started coming to hospitals for their diagnosis and treatment,” said a senior official from the Maharashtra State Anti-Tuberculosis Association.
On the contrary, health experts said the numbers have dropped as most of the patients did not step out due to nationwide lockdown following many patients being left undiagnosed. “During pandemic TB patients were impacted due to which many were left undiagnosed. But after the relaxation, many patients came forward for the treatment but still numbers are less, which need to be checked by the civic body and make sure TB patients whose treatment was stopped has started again,” said an expert.