Covid-19: Spike in Dharavi again, but BMC says no 2nd wave | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: After two months of registering single-digit cases on most days, Dharavi on Friday recorded 33 new Covid-19 cases. The last time Mumbai’s huge slum pocket registered such high numbers was on July 19 (36).
In proportion, Mumbai too has reverted to a jumbo 2,000-plus daily caseload: If the city registered 2,371 cases on Thursday, Friday’s score was 2,191 cases.
BMC senior officials said the rise in cases is because of increased testing. They said the daily charts reflect a combination of the easing of the lockdown, the mingling during the Ganpati festival and a sharp increase in the number the daily tests. “This isn’t a second wave, it is just a blip from the plateau that Mumbai had settled into for two months,” said a senior state official.
About Dharavi, G North assistant municipal commissioner Kiran Dighavkar maintained it was too early to worry. Dharavi, a slum pocket with around 8 lakh population, was the country’s worst hotspot in April in terms of both cases and deaths. Then aggressive testing, tracing and treatment brought cases down – with the slum registering only one case towards June-end.
Dighavkar said that Friday’s rise should be considered as a reflection of increased house-to-house surveys and tests. “We conducted a testing camp in Shahu Nagar on Thursday, and this is the report from that one area. We need to watch the numbers for the next three to four days,” he said. After weeks of poor turnout at the camps, Thursday saw more people turning up. Even during the peak of the pandemic towards May-end, he said that there were days when Dharavi saw only three to five positive cases.
The doubling time of Covid cases has dropped drastically in the last fortnight, indicating that cases are doubling faster than they did since June. In the first week of May, the city’s doubling rate was a mere 11-13 days, which kept increasing right up to 93 days on August 25. The decline began thereafter, down to 58 days on September 10.
Dr Shashank Joshi, a member of the state task force on Covid, said there is no reason to worry in Mumbai. “The increase is mainly due to almost doubling the number of tests. It will stabilise soon with aggressive implementation of the testing, tracing and treatment policy,” he said.
Dr Joshi added the need is to “de-stigmatise” Covid. “People refuse to get tested until late, and in the interim, they spread the infection to 10 to 20 people, leading to a spread,” he said. The municipal authorities should also consider reducing the size of the huge corona posters posted on buildings, he noted.

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