Coronavirus outbreak: Active cases in sister cities show decline

Updated: Aug 01, 2020, 07:00 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

But metropolitan region still has twice the active cases that Mumbai has, raising questions about inter-city movement post-Unlock 3.0

Residents in Thane West at a civic camp to get tested for COVID-19 through the rapid antigen test. Pic/Sameer Markande
Residents in Thane West at a civic camp to get tested for COVID-19 through the rapid antigen test. Pic/Sameer Markande

Although the number is still higher than Mumbai, active COVID-19 cases in the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) have started coming down. Until July 29, the area had 38,568 cases, while Mumbai's active cases count stood at 19,990.

With the recovery rate rising to 60 per cent, the region has also gained some confidence in mitigating the pandemic. Unlocking of the region will be done after assessing the local situation. The number of COVID-19 cases in the MMR, excluding Mumbai, has crossed one lakh. The MMR includes Thane district, Thane city, Kalyan-Dombivli, Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur, Mira-Bhayandar, Palghar and Vasai-Virar. MMR's cases increase two-and-a-half folds in the past month, as against Mumbai's 33 per cent. The number of deaths also increased three-fold in the same period.

Silver lining

The silver lining remains its active cases which seem to have stabilised since the last week. There were 35,215 active cases on July 11, which increased to 43,435 on July 21. Then the number started declining. From 40,166 active cases on July 28, the number went down to 38,568 the next day.

Thane West residents at a camp for Rapid Antigen tests for COVID-19.  PIC/SAMEER MARKANDEThane West residents at a camp for Rapid Antigen tests for COVID-19. Pic/ Sameer Markande

"Active cases have been stabilising for the past few days. Though the situation is hopeful, we have to be cautious. Unlocking of the area may begin after assessing the situation," said Sitaram Kunte, additional chief secretary and in-charge of MMR for COVID-19 management.

The highest number of total cases is in Kalyan-Dombivli (21,620) followed by Thane (19,651) and Navi Mumbai (15,905). Kunte added that while all corporations are doing better, the condition in Ulhasnagar and Kalyan-Dombivli needs to improve. "The curve is slightly sharper in these areas because of local factors but the situation is improving," Kunte said.

"Mumbai and the eight other corporations in MMR are a single unit. While the number of active patients in Mumbai is less than 20,000 and the city can reopen, the situation in MMR is different. Once local trains service starts, 6 million passengers will enter the city and that is a major concern about reopening," said BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal.

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