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No Second Coronavirus Wave in Mumbai, Numbers Rising Due to More Testing: Municipal Commissioner

A woman wearing a protective face mask buys fruit in a market, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani

A woman wearing a protective face mask buys fruit in a market, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Hemanshi Kamani

The city reported 2,163 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday with 54 fresh fatalities.

There is "no second wave" of COVID-19 in Mumbai and the infections are rising due to increased testing, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said on Thursday. He also said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) was in discussion with gyms and restaurant owners, and looking to allow them to reopen with one-third patrons.

The city reported 2,163 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday with 54 fresh fatalities. "I would like to reassure that there is absolutely no second wave at all," Chahal asserted at an event organized by industry lobby CII.

Mumbai is now witnessing over 15,000 tests a day against the earlier 7,000, he said. The civic body took a conscious call of more than doubling the testing and go for a "stimulated spike" from September 1 because it is confident that its health infrastructure can take care of new patients, Chahal said.

Earlier, there used to be 1,100 positive patients among 7,000 tests carried out per day, which has now gone upto around 2,000 positive patients with the testing more than doubling, he said. The BMC is planning to take the number of tests to over 20,000 a day, he added.

Even if the tests were to go up to 32,000 a day, which will take the daily spike in cases to nearly 4,000, the health infrastructure will be able cope up, he said. Drawing a cricket analogy, he said what is important is not the number of deliveries a batsman faces, but not losing the wicket, and added that mortality among COVID-19patients needs to come down.

The death rate presently stands at over 4.5 per cent which the city wants to get down to 2.2 per cent, he said. He also rued that people still continue roaming without masks.

"We are talking to gyms and restaurants and how we can start with one third capacity of gyms and restaurants. We are slowly moving forward. May be next will be religious places,"he said.

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