Mumbai does not foresee Covid third wave, officials tell court

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on October 05, 2021

Students and teachers decorate their reopened school in Mumbai after a yearlong shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic   -  REUTERS

Cite vaccination rate and falling caseload for decision to ease restrictions across the State

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has told the Bombay High Court that it does not apprehend a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the city. At the same time, the State government is moving to unlock the restrictions imposed during the peak wave.

The BMC informed the court that 42 lakh people are fully vaccinated in Mumbai and over 82 lakh have received the first dose. BMC counsel Anil Sakhare said, “The work is on. It is going on smoothly. Now there is no shortage of vaccines too. Mumbai is safe. We do not see a third wave [of Covid-19] coming.”

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation for a direction to the Central and State governments to start door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens aged 75 and above.

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Opposition parties, and the business and industrial sector in Mumbai have been urging the State government to facilitate economic recovery in India’s financial capital.

The caseload

But not just in Mumbai, the State government is in unlock mode across districts. Schools reopened on Monday and religious places will reopen from Thursday. The State will allow cinema halls and auditoriums to reopen from October 22.

As of Monday, there are 33,637 active cases in the State and 2,40,088 are in home quarantine and 1,355 in institutional quarantine. There were 339 new Covid-19 cases in the Mumbai civic area, and 657 patients in Mumbai circle which includes Thane, Navi Mumbai, Ulhasnagar and other areas. Mumbai district has 6,198 active cases — the second highest in the State after Pune (8,839). About 74 per cent of the active cases are from Pune, Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Thane, and Satara districts. Besides these five districts, only Raigad and Solapur have more than 1,000 active patients. The other 28 districts have less than 1,000 patients.

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Head of Maharashtra’s Covid Paediatrics Task Force Dr Suhas Prabhu welcomed the State government’s decision to reopen schools, saying the number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra has declined. He said that the government cannot wait to unlock until the last Covid-19 patient has been treated and declared disease-free.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the government will continue to follow the guidelines issued by the Task Force and that the government was relaxing norms only after considering all factors.

Concerns about Covid-19 norms

Even as the State government is in unlock mode, health experts have expressed concern over adherence to Covid-19 norms, especially after reopening religious places during Navratri.

(With inputs from PTI)

Published on October 05, 2021

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