Mumbai Crosses 20,000 COVID Cases, One-Third Ventilator Beds Occupied

Mumbai has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations but the number of deaths are still in single digits

On January 7, 2022, Mumbai reported 20,971 COVID-19 cases, the highest it has reported since the beginning of the pandemic. Close to 72,000 tests were conducted across the city on Friday, with a 29 per cent test positivity for SARS-CoV-2. Before the rise in cases in the last two days, Mumbai's peak one-day COVID cases stood close to 11,000 during the second wave in 2021.

With the increase in cases, the rate of hospitalisation is also gradually increasing. Close to 30 per cent of the city's available beds with ventilators are occupied by patients suffering from COVID. As of Friday, the city had 1407 available beds with ventilators of which 430 are occupied. Occupancy of oxygen beds are also slowly rising in the city. About 20 per cent of the over 11950 oxygen beds are currently occupied in the city. In the last three days, 80,106, and 88 positive patients needed oxygen beds across the city. Currently, 26.8 per cent of the 2638 available ICU beds are also occupied.

Even the number of people undergoing hospitalisation is surging which is further leading to a decrease in the proportion of positive people choosing home isolation. On January 1, 2022 when the city reported 6347 cases, close to 89 per cent of the cases were asymptomatic. However, on Friday that proportion dropped down to 84 per cent as close to 1,400 people were hospitalised. Currently, about 18.3 per cent of the hospital beds are occupied.

When it comes to vaccination, Mumbai has given over one crore first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, breakthrough infections and re-infections are quite common with the new variants of the virus. On Thursday, the city reported 55 new cases of the Omicron variant. Over 301 passengers with international travel history and about 262 close contacts without any international travel history have tested positive for the variant in the city.

The increasing cases are also a cause of concern for the municipal officials and the municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal has told the media that they will take stricter actions to curb the spread of the virus. Chahal said that Mumbai will face a wave similar to that in South Africa, where Omicron cases peaked in the second week of December. He expects the city to face rising cases in the upcoming weeks and that the wave will settle in 6-8 weeks.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials are also highlighting that the number of deaths in the city are still within single digits. Mumbai had reported no COVID-19 deaths on seven different days in the month of December. The civic body has gradually restarted the COVID-19 jumbo centres and increased the number of beds. Till January 4, the city had 30,645 beds. The total number of beds currently stands at 35,645.

The civic officials are also ensuring that travellers are quarantined and their contacts are actively traced. A cruise ship called Cordelia which is anchored at Green Gate in the city had 60 positive patients that were taken to the Richardson and Crudas Jumbo Centre in Byculla. All the remaining 1,827 passengers on board have been tested and so far 139 of them have tested positive and are being taken to the Jumbo Centres too.

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