Mumbai: Even as authorities gear up to grapple with a possible second wave of corona infections, the number of active cases in the city have risen by 30 per cent in the last ten days. According to civic data, there were 8,946 active cases until November 17, now increased to 11,697, as on November 26. Civic officials and health experts have attributed this surge to increased testing post-Diwali festival, public movement and work-travel in public transport.
In the first 15 days of the month, there were around 700 new cases every day. But since November 16, this number has breached the 1,000-mark every two to three days.
The civic body has ruled out the possibility of a second wave of the pandemic, as the positivity rate of Mumbai is still between 6 and 7 per cent. Further, the BMC has increased testing, setting each ward a new target daily.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said they had been expecting a surge in corona cases after the festival, as they had increased testing. Accordingly, now the number of active cases have also increased. “The rise in the number of cases is due to the rise in testing post-Diwali, to identify superspreaders. We are testing over 17,000 people daily on an average. Local doctors have also been instructed to keep an eye on suspected patients,” he said. On November 25, the BMC tested a record 19,018 people in a day, the highest since the outbreak of the virus in March.
Health experts have asked people to be on their guard, especially the elderly with comorbidities, as reverse migration has begun in the city, which too can be a source of infection.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, pulmonologist and epidemiologist at PD Hinduja hospital, Mahim, said there was a possibility of a second wave in Mumbai like in Europe, which could be associated with the festival season and violation of social distancing norms. “We hope for high seroprevalence, which can gradually push us towards herd immunity. But at present, it is unlikely. So, we have to be very careful around the upcoming Christmas and New Year,” he said.