16 Feb 2021: Mumbai: 10-12% rise in COVID-19 cases; BMC warns strict measures
Mumbai's civic body - Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) - has decided to keep its jumbo COVID-19 care centers open till March 31 and has also warned of stricter measures to keep the virus' cases in check.
The decision was taken in light of a sharp rise of 10-12% in the number of coronavirus cases in the city recently.
Here are more details on this.
Decision: There has been a rise in cases, says BMC official
About the decision, Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner In-charge of the BMC's Public Health Department, said, "There has been a rise in cases over the last couple of days and seeing the rise we felt that if there is a further increase in numbers, then admitting people and treating them will be easier in the jumbo centers hence the call has been taken (sic)."
Numbers: Mumbai reported 600 cases after a month
In terms of numbers, Mumbai on Sunday reported more than 600 coronavirus cases after over a month, which the BMC has termed as a 10-12% rise.
Notably, Maharashtra lodged a total of 4,092 fresh infections on that day, taking the western state's case load to 20,64,278, while 40 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 51,529, the Health Department stated.
Fact: Mumbai had last recorded 600+ cases on January 14
Further, a total of 1,355 patients were discharged on Sunday, taking the recovery count to 19,75,603. To note, Maharashtra had last recorded 4,000-plus cases (4,382), while Mumbai had last reported 600-plus cases (607) on January 14, i.e., over a month ago.
Lockdown: Will there be a fresh lockdown in Mumbai?
However, Kakani denied that there is a need to impose lockdown restrictions again in Mumbai.
"If people cooperate with us then there would not be any need for fresh lockdown or restrictions...But we have said from day one that if the numbers rise with the resumption of local trains we will have to put in strict measures as well (sic)," he told India Today.
Reasons: BMC cites these reasons for rise in cases
The reasons cited by BMC for rising COVID-19 cases in Mumbai are:
1) The number of foreign travelers coming to the city has increased.
2) COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and wearing of masks have gone for a toss since the resumption of local train services this month.
However, some argue following social distancing at platforms or inside trains is next to impossible.
Measures: BMC deploys mobile COVID-19 testing vans in Dharavi
In the wake of the spike, the civic body has started deploying mobile COVID-19 testing vans in some parts of Dharavi, fearing a plausible resurgence in infections.
However, officials told TOI that some high-risk contacts were avoiding testing fearing a loss of income due to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Meanwhile, the state government also recently made RT-PCR test mandatory for travelers from Kerala.