Low fresh infections in Dharavi, Worli help Mumbai breathe easier PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 June 2020 00:00
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With the number of Covid-infected crossing 50,000, Mumbai is in the league of global cities like London (27,300), Milan (24,000) and New York (2,12,000), but the good news is the city has had a major respite over the past few days. While the daily compound growth rate is down to 2.6% from 5.8% a fortnight ago, just 1,015 new cases were reported on June 10 as compared to 1,442 even five days ago.

It is early days yet, and many expect the city to have the 15,000 infections per million that New York had at its peak (Mumbai is at 3,383 right now), but the game-changer could be the checking of infections in slums like Dharavi; given the density of population, it was expected that infection levels would spread like wildfire, so maintaining the current level of spread is critical.

News channel CNN-News18 quoted a BMC official as saying Dharavi had managed to bring down its daily Covid-19 count to less than 10, from 185 in the first week of May; aggressive contact-tracing, isolation and testing, officials say, is the reason behind this.

Hindustan Times reported that while Worli reported an average of 60 cases every day in May, this is down to around 35-40 now. The growth rates of daily infections of Worli and Dharavi has come down to 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively, and those are among the lowest in the city.

In an interview to PTI, Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of G northward of BMC, had said that “Dharavi has not reported a single death in the last six days, which is the first major indicator that we are on the right track.” Analysis of Mumbai’s daily reports show that number of wards reporting over 5% growth in cases has also come down to three from six on June 5.

While Mumbai may breathe a sigh of relief, in Delhi and Chennai cases are galloping. Delhi, which was reporting an average of 700 cases a fortnight ago, is now adding nearly double the number every day. Given that the government expects cases to hit 5,50,000 by the end of July, it is likely that Delhi may pip Mumbai in terms of daily additions. Chennai, though, lower than Delhi has followed a similar trajectory with daily cases doubling within a fortnight. Both cities need to follow the Mumbai example of isolation and contact tracing if they wish to curb infections.


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