Coronavirus: As the country battles covid third wave, driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said Mumbai has moved past the peak. The cases are also expected to drop significantly over the coming days, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said on Tuesday (January 18, 2022).
The third wave of covid peaked around January 10. Over the last week, the city recorded a significant fall in daily cases. “We are expecting covid-19 numbers to drop further; to levels of 1,000-2,000 by January 26. We are also considering to re-open schools from January 27, Chahal told Indianexpress.com.
Mumbai, on January 7, reported the highest single-day spike of 20, 971 cases at a 28.9 per cent positivity rate after its second wave peak on April 2021 with 11,573 cases at 23 per cent positivity rate. This time, however, the number of deaths and hospitalisation were considerably lower.
The city’s daily covid count has also fallen steadily. The cases dropped to 10,661 on Saturday, 7,895 on Sunday, and 5,956 on Monday. On Tuesday, the city reported 6,149 new cases. The positivity rate also dropped.
Over the last week, the city’s daily case count was a steady fall. It dipped to 10,661 on Saturday; 7,895 on Sunday; and 5,956 on Monday. On Tuesday, 6,149 new cases were reported. The positivity rate also fell from a peak of 29.9 per cent on January 6 to 12.9 per cent as recorded on Tuesday.
A similar trend in other cities as well
The good news is not over yet. Like Mumbai, several other cities as well witnessed the sharpest decline, most notably in Delhi and Kolkata. These cities were in fact the first ones to show a steep rise in covid cases during the third wave.
The cases in these cities are seemingly lower now. Delhi, just six days before, recorded a new all-time peak at 28867 covid cases. The city since then saw a steady and fast decline in covid cases. On Tuesday the city recorded 11,684 cases.
In Kolkata as well, the covid cases rose to more than double–8,712 cases on January 9 compared to 3,990 on May 23 last year; double of its second wave peak. But it then dropped quickly after that. On Tuesday, the city reported 2,205 cases only.
Chennai is also showing signs of slowing down. The cases are however not showing any decline. The city has been recording cases between 8,000 and 9,000 for six days now.
Not so good news coming for Bengaluru and Pune
While the number of cities reporting a declining trend in covid cases, there are cities such as Bengaluru and Pune that are witnessing a steady rise in covid cases.
On Tuesday, Bengaluru reported 25,595 cases, the highest so far recorded in the third wave. It was only marginally below its all-time peak of 26,756 recorded on April 30, 2021. Pune also reported the highest cases in this third wave on Tuesday–11,784 cases. This is however the second wave peak of 12,825 cases.
Did testing decline in Mumbai?
While the daily covid-19 cases continue to fall in the city, the critics have pointed out that testing has been declined over the last 10 days. The testing was done to 47,700 on Tuesday from 72,442 samples on January 7.
Chahal told Indian Express that tests are being conducted as per demand. People are coming for tests. Numbers have gone down themselves.
Another senior official said only around 15 per cent of the beds at BMC-run hospitals and jumbo Covid facilities were currently occupied.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said BMC was prepared to handle around 40,000-50,000 cases and that he is relieved that the daily count and positivity rate have gone down significantly over the last few days.
While Kakani also believes that the third wave is under control now, people must not lower their guards and keep their face masks on all the time.