COVID-19 in Mumbai: With Unlock, cases shifting to suburbs

Updated: Jun 16, 2020, 07:06 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

While daily cases in parts of south and central Mumbai are going up by 25%, many wards in the western and eastern suburbs have been witnessing doubling since June 1

Civic doctors and health workers check residents of Michaelwadi at Kandarpada, Dahisar. Pic/Satej Shinde
Civic doctors and health workers check residents of Michaelwadi at Kandarpada, Dahisar. Pic/Satej Shinde

While the city has been reporting between 1,200 to 1,400 COVID-19 positive patients every day for a month, since the Unlock 1.0 began, it has been observed that the epicentre of cases is moving to the suburbs. Many areas in the north of the city, such as Malad East, Jogeshwari East, Andheri East, Bhandup are reporting a high number of cases. For the first two-and-a-half months, the majority of COVID-19 cases had been reported from south and south-central parts.

Worli from G South, Byculla, Tardeo, Malabar Hill and then Dharavi became the hot spots as the cases increased here sharply. mid-day had reported this on May 28, 'COVID-19 spread remains in certain wards'. But for the past 15 days, the epicentre of the positive cases has shifted to the north of the city. While the city's south shows around 25 per cent growth in cases, in the northern parts, the cases have been increasing by more than 50 per cent.

BMC officials point to the relaxation of the lockdown as the cause of the rising cases. Representation pic/Bipin Kokate
BMC officials point to the relaxation of the lockdown as the cause of the rising cases. Representation pic/Bipin Kokate

They have doubled in a few parts in the period. Malad, the areas between Andheri and Vile Parle in the western suburbs and Bhandup, Kurla, Ghatkopar in the eastern suburbs are rising in the top 10 wards with COVID-19 cases.

K East (Jogeshwari E, Andheri E and Vile Parle E) reached the first spot from the eighth among wards with high cases within 15 days. The cases increased by 78 per cent in K East in two weeks.

"The area of K east is more than double in size and population in comparison to south wards. The area has an industrial belt and after the city reopened the industries asked employees from nearby places to come to work," said Prashant Sapkale, assistant commissioner of K East.

K West (Jogeshwari W, Andheri W, Vile Parle W) is already in the top five and cases in P North (Malad) have more than doubled since June 1. "While we declared slum pockets as Containment Zones, movement began after the reopening of the city. There are hundreds of small lanes inside the areas and it is difficult to control all the accesses," said Sanjog Kabre, assistant commissioner of P North.

On the other hand, L ward (Kurla) which was on the higher side till the last month is showing a slow trend. But adjacent wards like S (Bhandup) and N (Ghatkopar) are showing a higher per cent of growth. The cases in Bhandup have increased by 80 per cent in the past 14 days.

After sealing the east side of Western Express Highway for five days from June 11, the P North ward extended the complete lockdown in the area for another five days. All the activities excluding milk booths, ration stores, banks/ATM and medical stores, will be closed till June 20.

4,076
No. of cases in K East (Andheri, Jogeshwari) ward by June 14

2,348
No. of cases in K West ward till May 31

3,322
No. of cases in K West ward by June 14

Cumulative cases in wards

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