People wearing protective face masks wait in queues to buy train tickets at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station in Mumbai, India. (Image: Reuters)
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has denied that there is a second wave of coronavirus infection in Mumbai as COVID-19 cases spike in the city.
“I would describe the current increase in COVID-19 cases a surge, not a second wave,” Chahal told CNBC-TV18.
Explaining the COVID-19 situation in the financial capital, Chahal said the coronavirus load has gone down in the slums. The additional load is coming from rich, super-rich and middle-class residential areas, he told the news channel.
Around 100 to 200 COVID-19 cases can be attributed to the mega rush in the local trains, he said. The local train services in Mumbai were recently opened for the general public at specific time slots.
Talking about the cases of the new strain of coronavirus, Chahal said that it is producing 85 percent of asymptomatic patients. Only 108 out of 750 COVID-19 cases, reported yesterday, needed hospitalisation, he said.
In the interview with the news channel, the BMC chief clearly said that there is no plan to impose lockdown in the city in the light of rising COVID-19 cases. “We are not planning any new restrictions. However, we will ensure strict adherence to current restrictions,” he said.
Also read | Maharashtra imposes fresh restrictions as COVID-19 cases spike: All you need to know
“Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has indicated that the government is against any lockdown and BMC also does not want a lockdown,” Chahal added.
The civic body is taking up several steps to control the rising virus infections, he said. “We will seal society buildings having more than five COVID-19 cases. We will be stamping asymptomatic COVID-19 patients from now on, strictly track them and make sure they stay quarantined. Also, institutional quarantine is mandatory for travelers coming from Europe, UK and Brazil,” Chahal said.
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The BMC chief asked people to follow "COVID-appropriate" behaviour, saying that the next 15 days are very critical for Mumbai. “We might face problems two weeks later if “COVID-appropriate is not observed,” he said.
About the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Chahal said the C0-WIN app, meant to register vaccine recipients, is not functioning properly. The Malfunctioning of the Co-WIN app has caused a setback in the inoculation drive in the city.
The Maharashtra government has announced a state-wide ban on social, political and religious gatherings.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.