MMR thus carries the heaviest burden in Maharashtra, but Mumbai can breathe easy in the knowledge that it now accounts for less than half the tally. After the outbreak in March, it took a month before most areas outside Mumbai began reporting infections. Since then, cases have spread more on the edges than inside the city.
An addition of 1,832 cases on Wednesday took MMR’s caseload to 6,00,550 while the death toll stands at 18,164 with the addition of 41 casualties. Mumbai, with a population of 14 million, has 44% (2,66,748) of the cases and 10,506 deaths. Kalyan-Dombivli is the next most affected with 55,208 cases, followed by Navi Mumbai with nearly 50,000. In death rate, Bhiwandi-Nizampur leads with 5%, even higher than Mumbai’s 3.9%. The state’s overall fatality rate is 2.63%.
Daily Covid-19 cases in city double during Diwali week
Mumbai is seeing a near doubling of daily Covid-19 cases. After reporting around 500 on Monday and Tuesday, the tally jumped to 1,069 on Wednesday. BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the spike was due to increased testing. “If daily cases cross 2,000, that would be something to worry about,” he said. The death toll for the day was limited to 22.
Dr Sanjay Oak, head of the state’s Covid-19 taskforce, cautioned that the threat has far from dimmed. “If people keep visiting their friends and relatives during Diwali without following masking and hygiene protocols, they will also end up sharing the virus apart from chakliand laddoos,”he said. “It would be unwise to think both for Mumbai and MMR that there may not be a surge,” he said.
While other cities in the MMR such as Kalyan and Thane saw their first cases around the same time as Mumbai (March11), most began to experience a spurt in April and May. In Navi Mumbai, cases surged in the second week of May and the following week in neighbouring Panvel. In July, regions outside of Mumbai reported a near doubling. But by September, both Mumbai and other MMR corporations had started registering a decline.
MMR (excluding Mumbai) has contributed 56% (3,33,802) of the six lakh cases in the region and 7,658 deaths. The last one lakh cases in MMR came in 37 days, the longest it has taken compared to previous additions on the same scale.
Dr Oak said commissioners and collectors from MMR and Mumbai often meet to discuss measures. Kakani said Mumbai and adjoining satellite cities are one unit in the war against coronavirus. “All these cities are closely interlinked, and we try to have similar interventions. We have also urged them to not shut Covid centres, that will help us tackle any surge together,” he said.
Overall, Maharashtra reported 4,907 cases on Wednesday after 3,277 and 3,791 on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Total tally is 17,31,833. And there’s a near doubling in deaths. On Wednesday, 125 were recorded after 46 on Tuesday, its lowest in six months.
(Inputs by BB Nayak, Pradeep Gupta, Manoj Badgeri)