There has been a 50 per cent decline in the number of dog bite cases in Mumbai. Last year, between March and September, 48,037 dog bite cases were registered. However, in the corresponding period this year, only 24,085 such cases were recorded. Officials have attributed this decline to the nationwide lockdown with people spending more time indoors.
According to the data provided by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 41,337 dog bite cases were reported from January to September compared to the 85,054 cases reported for the same period last year. “For the first time in the last 19 years, the city reported less number of dog bite cases in the last nine months. Moreover, on an average, 112 cases were reported per day compared to the 233 cases reported per day in 2019,” said an official.
As per the statistics, 6,347 cases were reported in March, which further decreased to 3,487 in April, followed by 2,860 in May, 2,816 in June, 2,584 in July, 2,689 in August and 3,265 in September.
Dr Mangla Gomare, executive health official, BMC said the dog bite cases have dropped due to the nationwide lockdown. Citizens were not stepping out of the house. Moreover, only those cases are being reported where citizens were returning home from work. “It is good news that the cases have reduced and we expect it will decline further. On an average, 3,435 cases were reported per month from March to September. Last year, 7,087 cases were reported every month,” she said.
However, many strays are developing malnutrition and dehydration due to unavailability of food and water amidst the lockdown, claim activists. “Dogs never bite anyone without reason. Either they are hungry, or they have small children or they are attacked by humans. The lockdown made it difficult for animals to have access to food and water. Moreover, people spread rumours that dogs can contract COVID-19, which was false,” he said.