Mumbai News

Mumbai records highest single-day rise – The Hindu

Mumbai recorded the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases with 875 new patients taking its tally to 13,739 on Sunday, while 19 deaths took its toll to 508.

After a Central committee rapped authorities in the city over poor contact tracing, Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal has ordered officials to ramp up efforts.

The surge in cases has been attributed to 197 private lab reports from May 7 and 8 reported on Sunday. Of the 19 deaths, 13 had co-morbidities. Most deaths were from the 40-60 age group, while one patient was under 40. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 212 people were discharged on Sunday.

A three-member Central committee comprising of Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, visited Mumbai recently. The committee expressed displeasure over the handling of the outbreak.

The average number of high-risk contacts being quarantined for every positive patient in Mumbai is three, much less compared to Nagpur’s 25. While some wards have managed to quarantine even seven to 10 per patient, in other wards, the number is woefully inadequate.

In a review meeting held on Saturday, Mr. Chahal ordered officials to look for six to 10 high-risk contacts per patient and place them under institutional quarantine.

“The commissioner wants us to follow the Centre’s instructions meticulously. Since the committee has pointed out poor contact tracing, we have been ordered to ramp it up. The current rate is definitely not adequate,” said a civic official who was at the meeting.

If officers are to quarantine 10 high-risk contacts for every positive patient, Mumbai would have to quarantine more than one lakh people.

“But a lot of them who live in housing societies or independent houses will be quarantined at home. The need for institutional quarantine is particularly for slum dwellers. Even neighbours and community toilet operators might be counted as a high- risk contacts if required,” said another health department official.

The BMC has designated COVID Care Centres 1 (CCC1) for high-risk contacts and those awaiting test results, but as of Tuesday, the total capacity of CCC1 was only 20,800. Initially, hotels, lodges and dormitories are being classified as CCC1, where every person has a separate room with an attached bathroom.

“But if one lakh people are to be quarantined, officers might place them in large halls on the lines of CCC2. That would defeat the whole purpose, because toilets would be common and one positive patient may infect all. We will have to work on a solution,” said another official who was at the meeting.

The civic chief has also ordered screening of every resident in containment zones and asked a ‘Covid Yoddha’ to be appointed as coordinator for every zone. He has asked assistant commissioners to track bed management in their wards and coordinate with others if beds are not available in hospitals in his or her ward. At least two ambulances should be stationed at COVID care centres.

The BMC is using artificial intelligence to assess X-ray reports to screen and monitor progress of patients. While the machine is only used at three hospitals right now, it will be deployed in several more in future.

2 dead in Navi Mumbai

While the novel coronavirus claimed two lives in Navi Mumbai on Sunday and the number of positive cases under the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation doubled in five days,the civic body also recorded the highest number of recoveries.

As many as 82 people tested positive on Sunday, but 80 others recovered from the virus, taking the total number of recovered patients to 155. Navi Mumbai has recorded 674 cases so far.

The two deceased are the wife of a doctor from Govandi who died on May 4, and an onion-potato supplier at the APMC market.

Vashi node reported 21 cases, Turbhe 20, Koparkhairane 14, Airoli eight, Nerul seven, Digha four and Belapur three. Of the 82 cases, 21 work at the APMC market.

The Panvel Municipal Corporation reported 13 cases and 20 recoveries on Sunday. Of these, Kharghar has six cases, including an APMC fruit market trader and five from a family of a SEBI employee at Bandra Kurla Complex. Kamothe reported five cases, Kalamboli and Panvel one each. The cases include healthcare staff and relatives of police personnel.

Panvel rural reported 21 cases at Karanja in Uran, all from four extended families. Around 66 close contacts have been quarantined.

(With inputs from Raina Assainar)