Mumbai: The city has witnessed a five-fold rise in the number of active cases in the last 30 days. According to the civic data, there were 10,010 active cases until February 3 which has increased to 62,187 until April 3, which means an almost 512% surge. Officials have attributed this surge to the laxity behaviour of citizens and increasing number of Covid-19 tests.
Meanwhile, the state’s total caseload as of April 3 was at 29.5 lakh, and the active cases have crossed the 4 lakh-mark. The only positive is that the fatalities are way below the projected numbers. “These projections were based on the case fatality rate (CFR) and the weekly growth rate at that time. Since the growth rate is increasing due to the increase in testing, CFR is on the decline,” said a senior official.
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, state advisor on Covid-19 said there is a need of adopting strict measures on a local level across the state to curb the rising number of cases daily.
“Looking at the pattern and the incubation period, we could see such high numbers till April 15 following which the state government should conduct more number of tests and Covid-19 vaccination. Moreover, local authorities should take strict measures in the areas against the defaulters who are flouting Covid-19 norms,” he said.
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC, said the increase in the number of active Covid-19 cases is a result of careless behaviour of the citizens as they feel corona will not be struck them again. “As more affluent people are now turning positive, the rate of self-admission in private hospitals has increased, and these residents are opting to prolong their treatment in a private hospital,” he said.
Task-force members indicated that this could spell trouble for the city, as the Covid graph, which had begun to stabilize, is showing an upward curve again due to Mumbai’s unlock plans, and the citizens have become carefree and do not follow basic protocols of wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
“One of the main reasons for the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases is the lack of Covid-related hygiene, arising from ‘Covid fatigue’ among citizens. Yet another reason is lack of faith in the civic body, as many people do not want to shift to institutional quarantine facilities, so do not rest until the 4th or 5th day after they have got symptoms. Moreover, in such cases, they interact with a lot more people meanwhile, and the infection rapidly spreads,” said Dr Deepak Baid, former president, Association of Medical Consultants.
Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said the increase in numbers is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed very aggressively with proper protocol in place. “People from many states and abroad have started moving in Maharashtra following which we can see the surge in daily cases. The government should take strict steps soon, otherwise, the number may increase further,” he said.