There has been a threefold surge in the number of active cases across the city and state in the last 15 days. According to the data, active cases have increased to 12,341 until June 15 from 2,970 which was until June 1. Officials have attributed this to the rise in daily covid cases and thenumber of people being hospitalized in Mumbai which has crossed 500-mark. However, all are mild patients and only few patients are admitted to the ICU or need oxygen support.
According to the experts, a higher doubling time means it is taking longer for the cases to double and indicates that the infection is spreading slower. Conversely, a lower doubling time suggests a faster spread of infection.
Dr Sanjith Saseedharan, Consultant & Head Critical Care, SL Raheja Hospital, Mahim-A Fortis Associate said there has been a worrisome rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the state of Maharashtra with an alarming rise seen in Mumbai. This is partly because of the marked increase in the movement of the public and mask fatigue coupled with lower uptake of the booster. “What we should realize is that vaccine immunity may not last more than six months. Even if we have hybrid immunity due to a combination of natural immunity and resistance because of earlier getting infected with Covid-19 infection and immunity from a vaccine, still it won’t be able to protect us for long from getting infected,” he said.
Dr Mangala Gomare, Executive Health Officer said the decrease in doubling rate is mainly due to increase in daily cases of Covid-19. “It means that once again the city is seeing a higher number of Covid-19 cases on a daily basis,” she said. Meanwhile, some wards have also witnessed a surge in the weekly growth rate.
The state’s Covid taskforce members have indicated that this uptick in active cases could spell trouble for the city, as it indicates that its Covid curve, which had stabilised, is climbing up again, since people have become careless about wearing a mask and maintaining social distance.
Given that Mumbai has opened up considerably, this is a cause for concern and if the trend of rising active cases continues, Mumbai may have to tighten its lockdown, yet again. “One of the main reasons for an increase in the number of cases is the lack of Covid-related hygiene, arising from ‘Covid fatigue’ among citizens. Yet another reason is lack of faith in the civic body, as many people do not want to shift to institutional quarantine facilities, so they do not rest until the 4th or 5th day after exhibiting symptoms. By this time, they have interacted with a lot more people and the infection rapidly spreads,” said senior health officer from the civic health department.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, Consultant Pulmonologist and Epidemiologist, P D Hinduja Hospital said Waning immunity post prior infections and vaccination, increased social interactions/overcrowding, increasing travel and reduced precautions (masking, sanitizing) have all possibly contributed to the surge that we are presently experiencing. “Fortunately it does appear that despite increasing numbers, the proportion of those infected who have severe disease is low, and we are likely to experience a surge similar to what we witnessed in January,” he said.