Is Mumbai coming out of the Covid-19 chokehold?

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On June 25, Delhi overtook Mumbai as the worst-affected city in India due to coronavirus, in a race no one wants to win. This is because Mumbai, over the last few days, has been able to control the spurt in cases, while in Delhi, the spike in new cases continues unabated.

Since the pandemic began, Mumbai has been the worst affected city in India. But in the last one week, it has added 6,729 cases, while Delhi has seen more than thrice the number of new cases in the same period – 20,411.

It’s been more than a month since Mumbai hit a peak of 1,751 new cases in a day. Data suggest it has begun to recover from the virus faster than expected. So much so that on Thursday, the Maharashtra government announced that in the coming week, gyms and salons will also be allowed to open with certain protocols.

Covid spread hits brakes

Nearly a month ago, coronavirus cases in Mumbai were doubling every 11 days. Numbers for the last one week show Covid-19 cases are now taking more than 40 days to double. That’s way too slow than the national average of 19 days. As of June 24, Mumbai had 69,528 cases, including 3,964 (5.7 per cent) deaths and over 37,000 recoveries.

Dr. Shashank Joshi, a member of the state-appointed Covid-19 task force, told India Today, “Numbers in Mumbai are improving. In some areas of Mumbai, the doubling rate is above 45 days. Mumbai’s curve is plateauing. In neighbouring districts, cases are reaching their peak. However, there are some areas in Mumbai that need to be monitored.”

Slowing down of case growth has also led to a rise in recoveries. Just a month ago, as of May 25, recovery rate in Mumbai was 22 per cent, which jumped to 53 per cent on Wednesday. This means that Mumbai has more recoveries than active cases. The average recovery rate in India stands at 57 per cent.

As of Wednesday, total active cases in Mumbai stood at 28,653, while the number of recoveries was 37,010. Also, between June 12 and 25, a total of 11,858 patients were discharged, while the number of active cases has remained almost the same.

Daily additions

One more significant achievement for Mumbai is the deceleration of daily additions.

On May 22, Mumbai had witnessed the steepest rise of 1,751 cases in a day. Since then, it has seen a gradual slowdown. The city added 824 cases on June 23 and 1,118 cases the day after. The seven-day rolling average shows that the curve of daily additions has come down slightly after plateauing for a while.

On the other hand, Delhi had added 3,947 new cases on Wednesday, the biggest increase any city in India has seen since the pandemic began. The rolling average of new cases is also moving up in the Capital.

Test score

Till mid-June, Mumbai’s testing capacity was capped at 4,000 per day. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) then increased testing to 4,500 per day. Amid increased testing, daily additions to Covid-19 cases haven’t increased in Mumbai. In fact, the seven-day rolling average of daily additions has come down from 1,353 on June 13 to 1,121 on June 24.

According to experts, there are two primary concerns for Mumbai – one is rising mortality rate and the other is monsoon. There is a chance of Covid cases in Mumbai rising due to the humid climate in the monsoon season. Also, since June 15, deaths due to Covid have been on the rise. Mumbai reported 3,962 deaths till Wednesday as against 2,190 deaths till June 14 – a rise of 1,772 deaths in less than 10 days.

“As of June 15, BMC showed a case mortality rate of 3.79 per cent, but it increased to 5.69 per cent on June 24. In this period, BMC has continuously added old deaths that have led to an increase in mortality rate,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya told India Today.

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