COVID-19: North Mumbai numbers dip; ward officials hopeful of cases reducing to zero

Updated: Jun 26, 2020, 11:50 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

BMC's day-wise figures show a marginal reduction in positive cases in the suburbs

Locked residences and an empty lane in Kandivli. Pic/ Satej Shinde
Locked residences and an empty lane in Kandivli. Pic/ Satej Shinde

The new hotbed of COVID-19, North Mumbai seems to be witnessing a reduction in cases. Amid strict lockdowns, the doubling rate of cases in wards which were on high alert is showing a decreasing trend. Also, due to heavy enforcement and massive screening, residents have been taking the pandemic more seriously.

Northern suburbs of the city such as Malad and Dahisar, especially the slum pockets there, had been witnessing a surge in cases post the Unlock 1.0. The spike was such that Mumbai police imposed lockdown in many areas, literally blocking the movement of people. The result of this action is evident in the COVID-19 cases showing a decreasing trend. In many wards, the doubling rate has gone beyond 15 days.

"This is a joint effort of BMC officials and Mumbai police. Coordinated attempts were made, surveys were done and checkpoints were raised to tackle the crowd," said a senior police officer. "People were not adhering to any social distancing. In fact, many were not wearing masks. After we started cracking down and booking people for violations, things improved" he added.

BMC health workers do a door-to-door check in Kranti Nagar at Akurli road, Kandivli. PIC/SATEJ SHINDE BMC health workers do a door-to-door check in Kranti Nagar at Akurli road, Kandivli. Pic/ Satej Shinde

R North, R Central, R South and P North wads have observed the decrease in cases. Many of the pockets in these wards haven't registered a single case for the past three days. "We had arranged mass screenings and surveys, it has resulted in awareness as well as spotting patients," said a BMC official. "This drive will continue till we notice a flattening of the curve."

Ward watch

Corporator of R North ward Sanjay Ghadi said that areas like Ashok Van, Savarkar Nagar, Rawalpada, Sabhaji Nagar, Deshmukh residency, Hanuman Tekdi, Choughule Nagar, and some parts of Konkani Pada had many cases. "With 112 cases there was absolute chaos in the ward with people not following rules. The numbers are decreasing now. Also, around six deaths also made the people more serious. If this continues, numbers are expected to reach zero," Ghadi said.

In R South ward, Corporator Kamlesh Yadav said that there are areas like Lalji pada, Ganesh Nagar, Sanjay Nagar, Ekta Nagar, Azad compound and Nilkanth Nagar. "After Unlock 1.0, numbers crossed 100. Surveys were carried out by drones, photos and videos of these were circulated on social media groups and people were warned of penalties for violations. All shops were closed and movement of people was restricted. Massive screening camps for residents were arranged resulting in the decrease. For the past three days, no cases have been reported. Active cases are five," Yadav said.

Sanjay Kurhade, the ward's assistant commissioner said, "If we compare cases of May and June, the numbers haven't varied. But cases in slum pockets have decreased. During the lockdown, there would be around three cases in slums and one to three in buildings per day. We have conducted camps and screening. Also many people were quarantined so there is no increase."

R Central ward's former corporator, Shiva Shetty said that the ward comprises Yogi Nagar, old MHB colony, Gorai and Gorai Village. "I know how much this disease can cost. I lost my brother and mother to COVID-19. I am urging people not to venture out unnecessarily. In our ward, 140 cases have been reported, they went up sporadically after Unlock 1.0. Everyday, there are 10 to 12 cases, this needs to stop. We need strong enforcement of BMC and police. Also awareness among residents is necessary," Shetty said.

BMC health workers do a door-to-door check in Kranti Nagar at Akurli road, Kandivli. PIC/SATEJ SHINDE

The ward's Assistant Commissioner Bhagyashree Kapse said that it is too early to comment on the decrease. "What I can say is that the rise is less than what we expected. We expected around 200 cases per day. Today, 77 cases have been reported. Maybe in 10 days, we can firmly comment on trends."

In the P North Ward, areas like Madh island, Aksa, Dharoli village and Ambujwadi in Ward no. 49 had many cases. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Sutar said that the ward has registered 90 cases, though none were reported on Thursday. "Around 10,000 fishermen, who had gone out to sea to fish, returned and it resulted in a surge. Also, many people were visiting the fish market in Madh from outside."

Sutar added that in the past two days, the situation is improving. "BMC is doing door-to-door visits, fever and oxygen levels are being checked, which results in finding out asymptomatic cases as well," he said.

Police action a deterrent

Between June 13 and June 24, 1,391 cases related to not wearing masks, keeping shops open, and travelling without reason were registered by police in the North Region. This also helped deter people.

Wards and daily cases since June 17

R Central (Borivli)
June 17 (80), 18 (66), 19 (58), 20 (81), 21 (81), 22 (72), 23 (63)
Doubling rate: 19 day

R North (Dahisar)
June 17 (54), 18 (59), 19 (44), 20 (32), 21 (29), 22 (40), 23 (30)
Doubling rate: 22 days

R South (Kandivli)
June 17 (62), 18 (59), 19 (55), 20 (58), 21 (73), 22 (50), 23 (36)
Doubling rate: 27 days

P North (Malad)
June 17 (131), 18 (99), 19 (113), 20 (130), 21 (98), 22 (87), 23 (63)
Doubling rate: 24 days

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