The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not see much improvement happening in Mumbai’s Covid-19 situation until the New Year due to fears that the upcoming festival season– comprising at least one big festival including Diwali, Navaratri, Christmas and New Year falling every month– will lend itself to regular spike in infections, before a possible significant decline is noticed.
Mumbai had witnessed a plateauing of cases in August, however, Ganesh festival, relaxations in Mission Begin Again and increased testing, are widely believed to be behind the resurgence of cases in the city. The civic body is expecting Covid-19 cases to further go up by the end of this year.
All ward officials have been put on alert and told to strengthen contact tracing of the infected in slums and in residential buildings. Nearly 80 percent of Covid cases in the city are being reported from high rises and housing societies, contrary to the spike earlier seen in slums.
As per expectations, average daily Covid cases shot up after Ganesh Chaturthi from nearly a 1000 cases in August to 1,800 + cases in the first week of September. The city reported record-breaking single-day spikes on the last two consecutive days with 2,227 and 2, 371 cases reported on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
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Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), said, “Next two to three months will be crucial because there are major festivals lined up when people are likely to come in contact while greeting each other.”
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Amid the recent spike in infections, the BMC has also increased Covid testing in the city. On Wednesday, it conducted a record 15, 701 tests. More than 60 % of total tests are conducted using rapid antigen kits, which deliver results within 15-20 minutes but are less accurate compared to the RT-PCR tests. In Mumbai, 95,342 antigen tests have been conducted till September 8.