In some respite for residents of Mumbai, the daily rise in the city's Covid-19 cases appears to be tapering while the growth rate in other urban centres is witnessing a spike.
According to a report in The Times of India, Mumbai's share in the total cases in Maharashtra has fallen to 34%, close to one-third. In the preliminary stage of the outbreak in March, Mumbai constituted 30% of the total caseload of the state. In the subsequent weeks, the numbers rose steeply and by April end, it grew to 67%. The report added that the figure fell to 57% in May and now, it is at its lowest.
Mumbai's share in Maharashtra's caseload has been dipping through all three weeks in June till now. In the first 15 days of June, Mumbai had 19,607 cases, constituting 46% of the 43,092 cases reported across the state. Between June 16 and 21, its cases further fell to 34%, with Mumbai constituting 7,195 of the total 21,331 cases in Maharashtra, the report added.
But to put things in perspective, Mumbai has been witnessing a daily increase of over 1,000 cases. On Monday, the number of coronavirus cases in the city rose by 1,128 to 67,635 while the death toll went up by 20 to 3,735, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
Another pattern that has emerged is the increase in cases in satellite townships near the city, putting pressure on the health infrastructure there. This has become a cause of concern for officials.
"Bhiwandi, Thane, Palghar, are all adding cases now," an officer from the public health department told ToI. At the moment, Thane Municipal Corporation has nearly 7,500 cases, Navi Mumbai corporation close to 6,000 cases and Vasai-Virar around 3,000 cases.
A senior BMC official noted that Covid-19 has given a “golden opportunity” to assess the scale of development of health infrastructure by smaller corporations in the MMR area over the years.
“The growth in health infrastructure has not been proportionate to that. About 45-50% of the caseload in Mumbai’s three civic tertiary hospitals are people from MMR and other parts of the state,” the official was quoted as saying by the publication.
Exacerbating the situation, the unlocking of inter-district borders has also resulted in a surge in the number of infections.
Cases are spreading near tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the state following the migrant exodus from the metropolis, Dr Anupkumar Yadav, commissioner, National Health Mission told ToI.