Mumbai: Covid-19 cases take a mega leap in 10 days

Mumbai, April 25 (IANS) The state health authorities are concerned as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country’s financial capital have more than doubled in just the past 10 days, as per official data.

Between April 15 and April 24 (10 days), the Public Health Department data shows a huge jump — from 1,896 to 4,447 — or an increase of 2,551 patients, the highest in the state and country.

During the same 10-day period, the number of deaths increased by 64 from 114 to 178, accounting for the lion’s share of the state total of 301 casualties.

In barely six weeks after the first case was reported in Maharashtra, Mumbai now stands at 4,447 cases and 178 casualties.

Some of the major Covid-19 hotspots in Mumbai include Dharavi, Worli, Mahalaxmi, Byculla, Shivajinagar, though the cases are spread elsewhere in the city and suburbs also.

“We are concentrating in areas like Dharavi. We are considering institutional quarantine for family members or close contacts of positive patients. For this purpose we plan to open up school buildings, community halls, besides hotel rooms,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

One of the prime reasons for the incidence of Covid-19 is the sheer congestion in the thickly populated city, with Dharavi ranking as Asia’s biggest slum and the most congested area on earth with a population of around 800,000 jammed in just 2.24 sq. km.

However, Mumbai is also racing ahead in terms of the number of tests conducted — more than 55,000 so far — and now the situation is expected to improve with the Centre permitting pool tests and plasma therapy for the city.

The city has also reported major Covid-19 scares — Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad has tested positive and currently in hospital for the past three days.

Three days ago, a security guard posted at Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale’s Bandra east home, was found to be Covid-19 positive.

Earlier, a tea-seller was found positive outside Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra east last month before the March 24 lockdown was implemented.