The number of active Covid-19 cases in Mumbai has shot up by over 20% in the past fortnight, from 18,299 cases on August 21 to 22,222 on Friday . Active cases are calculated by deducting number of discharged patients and number of deaths from the total number of Covid-19 cases in the city.
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Medical experts and officials from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) public health department have attributed this increase to the surge in the daily Covid-19 cases within the past week. Experts have indicated that this could spell trouble for the city, as it is a sign it’s Covid graph, which had begun to stabilize, is showing an upward curve again, due to Mumbai’s unlock plans, and the recent Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
The number of cumulative active cases as of Friday is also the highest number of active cases recorded in over a month. The last time Mumbai had this high number of active Covid-19 cases was on July 26, with a total of 22,768. After that, the cumulative number of active cases showed a steady decline, until Friday.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner in charge of the civic health department, said, “The increase in the number of active Covid-19 cases is a result of our recent unlock plans, the festival, and also because of the shift in the spread of Covid-19 from slums to high rises. As more affluent people are now turning positive, rate of self admission in private hospitals has increased, and these residents are opting to prolong their treatment in a private hospital.”
In the past week, the daily number of Covid-19 cases has also gone up. Especially in the past four days of September, daily Covid-19 cases have drastically increased, as opposed to the daily number of cases in August.
While on Friday the city recorded 1,929 new Covid-19 cases, on Thursday it recorded 1,526 cases, and on Wednesday, it recorded 1,622 cases. On Tuesday, September 1, it recorded 1,142 new Covid-19 cases.
On the contrary, Mumbai had recorded as low as 705 Covid-19 cases on August 3, and the month saw a significant number of days when daily Covid-19 cases were less than 1,000.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the Maharashtra government task force formed in April to reduce mortality in the state, said, “This is not a good sign for Mumbai, especially since it has opened up considerably. If this trend continues, Covid-19 cases could increase at an alarming rate again, and Mumbai may have to tighten its lockdown, yet again.”
Joshi also said one of the main reasons for increase in the number of Covid-19 cases is 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 test until the 4th or 5th day after they have got symptom. “In such cases, they interact with a lot more people meanwhile, and the infection rapidly spreads,” Joshi added.