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Six mega cities collectively added nearly 1.6 million Covid cases during Apr 14-May 12: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 17, 2021

In its latest health bulletin, the Gujarat government reported 1,340 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths in 24 hours across the State. Ahmedabad city reported 230 cases in past 24 hours.

As on May 12, 16 per cent of active Covid patients in India lived in these cities

Six megacities across India have contributed significantly to the rising case Covid-19 case numbers in the country, according to a new study.

As per a mega cities trends and analysis report from Jeevan Raksha, a public-private partnership initiative by Proxima, a management consulting firm, with technical support and guidance of the PHFI, 8.45 million people or 6 per cent of India’s population live in six mega cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi. Kolkata and Mumbai.

As per the report, 4.2 per cent of total population of these six mega cities are infected with Covid-19 while 15 per cent of Covid patients in India live in these cities.

As on May 12, 16 per cent of active Covid patients in India lived in these cities. 1 in every 5 deaths in India, occurred in these cities.

Between April 14 and May 12, the mega cities have collectively added nearly 1.6 million Covid cases, an increase of 68 per cent. Two-third of the increase was contributed by Bengaluru (4.97 lakh) and Delhi (5.94 lakh). Cases increased by 138 per cent in Ahmedabad. Active cases increased by 3.5 lakh, nearly 150 per cent surge.

“Increase in Active Cases Moving Growth Rate (MGR) indicates increase in demand for hospitalisation and vice-versa. Further, if MGR of Active Cases decreases, it indicates that the region has been successful in containing the spread of virus and also increasing recovery due to timely medical intervention in the said period,” the report said.

On a positive note, in the week ended at May 12, the seven day Active cases MGR in all the mega cities declined as compared to previous weeks, except in Bengaluru and Chennai.

Active cases increased by 23 per cent in Chennai and 15 per cent in Bengaluru.

Mumbai shows negative growth

Mumbai is the only Mega city to witness negative growth of active cases, as per the study. Mumbai has been successful in reducing the active cases by nearly 60 per cent to 36,000. On the other hand, active cases in Delhi surged over 60 per cent to more than 82, 000. Those in Kolkata grew over 2.5 times to 26,300 while in Ahmedabad, active cases increased by over 4 times to 47,174 in these four weeks.

As for the death toll, 17,000 people succumbed to Covid in these six mega cities, with Delhi accounting for over 50 per cent of deaths and Bengaluru at 24 per cent. Bengaluru has the highest 28-Day Mortality MGR of 82 per cent, followed by Delhi at 76 per cent.

“This means the doubling period for deaths is shorter than other mega cities. This indicates that both cities are relatively facing more challenges to early detect the infected people and accordingly provide appropriate medical intervention,” the report said.

Mumbai, on the other hand witnessed 1,825 deaths, 11 per cent of the total deaths occurred in mega cities. It also has the least MGR of 15 per cent. During the period, Chennai witnessed 1,114 deaths, Kolkata 618, and Ahmedabad 649.

“Each Mega City has developed its own Covid Management strategy and witnessing mixed results,” as per the report.

Bengaluru and Delhi have been bullish on testing. However, lockdown in these cities has yielded limited results in terms of curbing both the growth rate of positivity and mortality, as per the report.

Meanwhile, “Mumbai is the only city which has been successful in reducing the 7-Day Moving Growth Rate (MGR) of Positive Cases, Active Cases and Mortality,” the report said.

According to the Proxima Pandemic Management System (PPMS), any state or city achieving less than 2 per cent seven day MGR of Covid Cases will be eligible for relaxation of imposed restrictions.

Among the mega cities, Mumbai’s MGR of Positive Cases fell below 2 per cent, which makes it eligible to further relax the restrictions imposed on the movement of people, the report said.

Notably, in Ahmedabad, despite a 12 per cent increase in positive cases, the active cases have de-grown by 30 per cent during the week ended May 12.

“This pattern is the indicator of declaring a large number of Covid patients as Recovered before the completion of mandatory isolation period and also without carrying out tests to confirm the recovery. The same pattern is seen in Kolkata as well,” as per the report.

In Kolkata, positive cases increased by 13 per cent while there was no corresponding increase in active cases.

“The urgency to show higher recovery rate will result in declaring a large number of asymptomatic Covid patients who are not fully recovered and turning to be super-spreaders,” as per the report.

The analysis was based on secondary analysis of data collected from multiple sources including official data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Published on May 17, 2021

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