Mumbai Warns of ‘Rapid Rise’ in Covid Cases Ahead of Monsoon; Hospitals, Labs Put on Alert

In what could spell fresh trouble for Mumbai, the BMC has asked the city to be on alert after a tremendous spike was noticed in daily new cases of coronavirus.

Warning of a rapid rise in symptomatic cases with monsoon round the corner, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked for testing to be ramped up “on war footing” and push for vaccination across all age groups.

The development comes as Mumbai on Tuesday recorded over 500 daily cases — a first in 114 days. For the first time in three months, Maharashtra’s daily tally of Covid-19 cases crossed the 700-mark on Tuesday. May ended with the state recording 152% more cases over April, although deaths dropped by a significant 70%.

According to the directions issued by BMC, testing labs have been asked to be “pro-active and fully staffed”. A renewed and aggressive push must be made for vaccination drive in the 12-18 years age group as well as booster doses.

Jumbo field hospitals too have been asked to be adequately staffed and on alert. “Assistant commissioners in charge of wards must review status of ward war rooms to ensure they are fully equipped with staff, medical teams and ambulances. Private hospitals too must be put on alert.”

The Malad jumbo facility is to be put to use on priority if the hospitalisation rate increases in the coming days. AMCs will visit jumbo hospitals in their jurisdictions to ensure they are monsoon-ready with de-watering pumps, structural stability certification, fire safety mechanisms, housekeeping, catering, paramedical and medical staff, oxygen manufacturing plants and medicines.

Dr Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer, said there has not been a rise in the count of severe disease in proportion to cases. “Although there are 3,475 active cases, only 114 patients are admitted to hospitals. Of those, 29 are on oxygen support and 3 on ventilator,” he said.

He added that though BA.4 and BA.5 cases have been circulating in Maharashtra since the beginning of May as recent detections have shown, yet it has not led to an exponential rise in cases.

Hospitalisation due to Covid-19 in Mumbai have increased by 231 percent in May, compared to April, a report in Times of India said.

The hospitalisation in the city was 215 as of Monday due to Covid-19, which was up from 65 in April and 149 in March. The report, however, added that the situation is nowhere close to January when the Maharashtra capital recorded 19,200 admissions during the Omicron wave.

Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said Maharashtra will impose another lockdown if Covid cases continue to surge and exceed thousand in the state.

“Given the pace at which patients are growing, restrictions will have to be put in place. Restrictions on airlines are still in place. If people don’t take care, the possibility of sanctions cannot be ruled out,” Aslam Shaikh said.

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