Mumbai municipal authorities on Saturday confirmed four more cases of novel coronavirus in the city. This has taken the total number of cases in Mumbai to nine and in Maharashtra to 26.
Of the four new cases tested positive for Covid-19 at Mumbai’s Kasturba hospital, one patient is from Mumbai while others belong to the peripheral towns of Kalyan, Kamothe and Vashi. In the nine total cases in Mumbai, while five are residents of the city, the others are from outside.
In the four cases tested positive on Saturday, one person is relative of a Covid-19 patient admitted in Hinduja Hospital who was later shifted to Kasturba Hospital. The rest of the three patients have international travel history and were brought in from the Mumbai Airport.
The BMC on Saturday also started a 300-bed quarantine facility at Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai and three suspected patients were admitted in the hospital after they were found to be suspected cases at the Mumbai airport.
Health department officials maintained that most of the patients have a travel history out of India, rest were directly in contact with affected people. There is no need for panic. Unless there is a history of travel or contact with a patient there is no need for tests, said Deputy Health Officer, Dr Daksha Shah.
Two family members of the senior citizen who tested positive at Hinduja Hospital have tested positive. There were concerns after a patient was tested positive at the private hospital, but all the eight high-risk contacts kept in quarantine at Hinduja Hospital tested negative and all are asymptomatic.
In a statement, Hinduja Hospital assured that all the steps were being taken for safety and well being of the patients admitted at the hospital.
To deal with the surge in Covid-19 cases, Mumbai will have an additional centre for testing samples of suspected coronavirus patients at KEM Hospital within a week. The current facility at Kasturba Hospital is working round the clock to give results for suspected cases.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has formed multiple teams to create awareness in housing societies and inquire about the travel history of the patients. Around 35,000 houses were approached by the civic team to create awareness. The total number of travellers screened for Covid-19 at the Mumbai Airport since January 18 is 2,30,589.
With regards to the patients who had arrived in Mumbai and later tested positive, the BMC surveyed the buildings and neighbourhoods they had visited and so far, no person has been found to be symptomatic.
Mumbai’s capacity for isolation beds are as follows: Kasturba Hospital- 78, HBT Hospital- 20, Kurla Babha Hospital- 10, Bandra Babha Hospital – 10, Rajawadi Hospital- 20, Fortis Hospital Mulund- 15, BPT hospital- 50 and Babasaheb Ambedkar Central Railway Hospital- 30. A total of 233 beds are available presently.
Earlier in the day, two persons who had recently returned from Dubai were confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal city. Thus, so far across the state, ten coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pune, eight in Mumbai, four in Nagpur, two in Yavatmal and one each in Thane and Ahmednagar.
In the wake of coronavirus scare, the state government had on Friday ordered the closure of cinema theatres, gymnasiums, swimming pools and public parks in cities of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad till March 30.
The government also invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 to tackle the virus outbreak. As announced by the government on Friday, schools and colleges in Pune and its neighbouring twin industrial towns of Pimpri and Chinchwad will remain shut till further orders.