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Mumbai’s COVID-19 surge | BMC commissioner says lockdown less likely with existing SOPs

Iqbal Singh Chahal said graded restrictions could be imposed on markets if the COVID-19 situation worsens

March 31, 2021 / 02:40 PM IST
File image of the BMC headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra

File image of the BMC headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on March 31 told CNBC-TV18 that lockdown was less likely to be imposed in Mumbai with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) already in place. However, Chahal said additional steps will be taken if the situation worsens.

Chahal also said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also does not want another lockdown in the state. A lockdown would also disrupt the ongoing vaccination drive, he added.

There were no instructions to stop Mumbai’s suburban (local) train services for now but the situation would be reviewed in 15 days, he said.

This came amid the second wave of COVID-19 cases in India, and particularly in Mumbai. The financial hub reported more than 4,700 new COVID-19 cases on March 30. The number had remained above the 5,000-mark for five consecutive days before that.

The municipal commissioner said people should not lower their guard and emphasised the need to be cautious. He reiterated the need to curb crowding in the city.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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He sought to assure citizens that Mumbai has adequate hospital capacity to deal with the surging COVID-19 cases and added that around 3,000 beds remained vacant across the city.

Authorities could impose graded restrictions on markets if the COVID-19 situation worsens, Chahal said.

Read: Severe crackdown on Covidiots, massive scale-up in vaccination run-rate needed to contain second wave

On March 27, a night curfew was imposed in all major cities of Maharashtra between 8.00 pm and 7.00 am. All public places such as beaches and gardens are to remain shut during this period. Social, political, cultural and religious gatherings remain suspended in the state.

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The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Maharashtra were the worst-affected areas of the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in February-March 2020.

As of March 30, Mumbai had reported 4.04 lakh COVID-19 cases. This number included around 3.44 lakh recoveries and 11,661 deaths. About 47,450 cases remained ‘active’ in the city.

The state’s overall tally stood at 27.5 lakh, including 23.8 lakh recoveries and more than 54,400 deaths.

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first published: Mar 31, 2021 02:40 pm