Mumbai News

Mumbai posts highest 7-day surge, still number 2 among districts – Times of India

MUMBAI: The city logged its strongest ever seven-day surge in Covid-19 incidence in the week that ended on Sunday with 11,045 cases, a high not seen even when Mumbai hit its purported peak in May. The city is currently the second worst-affected district in the country after Pune, though in active cases, it’s in the fourth position after Pune, Bengaluru urban and Thane.

Mumbai, as on Sunday, had a caseload of 1,55,622 while Pune district stood at 1,99,303. Mumbai for the longest time was the district with the most Covid cases in India till Pune dislodged it for the top spot on August 16. Among districts, Bengaluru urban is a close third with 1,47,581 cumulative and 39,725 active cases, much ahead of Mumbai’s 23,939. The southern city has seen its cases jump from 55,544 in July 31 to 1,29,125 on August 31.

Times View

The sudden surge since mid-August is a telling sign of the pitfalls the city needs to avoid as it unlocks in various spheres. As a densely crowded centre, it can’t overemphasise the significance of social distancing and use of masks in everyday life. Strict measures are necessary to ensure that the gains made in the last few months are not reversed.

In all, four districts from Maharashtra, including Nashik, are among the 10 most affected. Bengaluru urban, Chennai, East Godavari, Kurnool and Anantpur from Andhra and Kolkata occupy remaining spots.
Data revealed that the last time Mumbai added cases in such large volume was between May 18-24 when 10,392 cases were recorded. Mumbai’s civic chief IS Chahal said the surge was directly caused by the increase in testing and the situation cannot be compared to May when far fewer tests were being done. “The strategy of MCGM to substantially ramp up the tests from an average of 7,619 every day in the month of August to 10,000-14,000 tests in September has resulted in increase of average number of positive cases from 1,000-1,300 to 1,700-2,000. The idea is to effectively use the number of vacant Covid beds available and accelerate arrest of the spread of virus,” he told TOI.
Experts feel lack of adherence to social distancing during the Ganpati festival had a role to play in the surge. Bhopal-based global health researcher Dr Anant Bhan said the disregard for caution was likely to manifest itself across India. “With the process of unlock now moving towards almost totality, there are a lot of people venturing out for activities they might have missed out on during the lockdown — family outings, participating in community/religious events, etc. But unfortunately, this is not being done while paying attention to public health measures required,” he said.
Dr Subhash Salunkhe, a member of the state’s technical committee, said the onus was on people to keep cases under control.