Two Cities in Pandemic: What Has Mumbai Done That Delhi Hasn’t?

Dr Shivkumar Utture said, “The experience of the first wave helped BMC get control of the situation this time.”

4 min read
Image used for representational purpose.

The second wave of COVID-19 is at its peak in the country. Every day new COVID cases are crossing the figure of three lakhs since 21 April. India’s death tally has exceeded the figure of two lakh.

The second wave, which started from Maharashtra has spread to all the metropolitan cities of the country.

The situation in Mumbai now seems to be getting under control, as there has been a 50 percent drop in COVID figures. However, the situation in the national capital does not seem to be getting any better.

Some Background:

During March, the figures in Maharashtra had started increasing rapidly. More than 60 thousand COVID patients were being found in the state every day.

The cases have seen a gradual decline since 15 April when the lockdown came into effect. On 4 April, 11,163 new cases were found in Mumbai, the biggest spike till then. The number of cases in Mumbai came down to 4,966 by 28 April.

Delhi, on the other hand, with a positive rate of 36 percent, has been registering more than 25 thousand cases every day. On 20 April, Delhi recorded the highest number of new COVID cases with 28,395 patients.

During this time, Mumbai's positivity rate was 13 percent and BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has claimed to keep the death rate below 1 percent.

According to data collated by The Quint, in Mumbai, the number of patients who recover more than positive patients daily is increasing continuously. Which shows an improvement in the situation in Mumbai. But the number of recoveries in Delhi seems to be decreasing, giving rise to a concerning situation.

Let us see what story the figures of the last one week tell us.


Daily recoveries:

  • 4,966 - 5,300: 28 April
  • 4,014 - 8,240: 27 April
  • 3,876 - 9,150: 26 April
  • 5,542 - 8,478: 25 April
  • 5,888 - 8,549: 24 April
  • 7,221 - 9,541: 23 April
  • 7,410 - 8,090: 22 April


Daily recoveries:

  • 25986 - 24103: 28 April
  • 24149 - 17862: 27 April
  • 20201 - 22055: 26 April
  • 22933 - 21071: 25 April
  • 24103 - 22695: 24 April
  • 24,331- 23,572: 23 April
  • 26,169- 19,609: 22 April

What Was the Action Plan Adopted by Mumbai?

Recently, a letter from BMC Commissioner Chahal went viral on social media. The details of how Mumbai dealt with difficulties during the second wave of COVID are given.

While speaking to The Quint, Iqbal Singh Chahal informed that BMC has made an online dashboard, through which you can track the status of hospital beds from your phone.

  • In the last six weeks, BMC has increased the number of beds from 12 thousand to 22 thousand, out of which 1,500 beds are in Nesco Goregaon COVID Centre.
  • In addition, ICU beds have been increased from one and a half thousand to 2,800 and ambulances have been increased from 300 to 700.
  • The state government demanded the supply of oxygen from the Centre in time. BMC also fulfilled the demand of 50 metric tons of oxygen every day by entering into an agreement with a private company.
Apart from this, Chahal also claimed that a team of 700 doctors work in three shifts in 24 wards of Mumbai. Additionally, 240 medical teams are ready with 240 ambulances to reach the home of symptomatic patients. Seeing the condition of the patient, it is decided which bed, among the 172 hospitals, will be given.

In addition to jumbo field COVID hospitals of nine thousand beds, four new jumbo field hospitals of five thousand beds, and 800 ICU beds have also been prepared for the third wave.

Restrictions Were Laid Just in Time

Although the lockdown was announced on 13 April in Maharashtra, restrictions were imposed in Mumbai from mid-February. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar put a lot of emphasis on adherence to the rules, be it masking or banning public programmes.

At the same time, CM Uddhav Thackeray continued to warn people of an inevitable lockdown if COVID appropriate behaviour was not observed.

The state has also run a massive vaccination campaign by making a record of vaccinating 1.5 crore citizens.

Maharashtra Medical Council President Dr Shivkumar Utture said, “The experience of the first wave helped BMC to get control of the situation this time.”

He added that because the number of non-symptomatic patients was more than symptomatic patients, there was higher availability of beds.

Apart from lauding the health infrastructure, Chahal also highlighted the efforts made by the doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff on the ground, because of whom the situation of the officers has not worsened.

He also pointed out that because Delhi has three governing bodies, which has led to disputation and accusations. The autonomy of BMC in Mumbai made it easier to work.

Senior journalist, Santosh Andhle told that, “Mumbai has always been the hub of health tourism. People from all over the world come to Mumbai for the treatment of serious diseases. Also, in Mumbai, along with private hospitals, there is a very large number of doctors in BMC and government hospitals, whose work has been appreciated worldwide.”

He added that, “Mumbai in comparison to Delhi should be considered as Mecca in terms of health infrastructure.”

Delhi on Thursday reported 395 deaths, 24,235 new COVID-19 cases and 25,615 recoveries. Delhi’s active cases stand at 97,977.

Amidst the overworked crematoriums, a dire situation and a question remains: Whther the tussle between CM Arvind Kejriwal and the Central government will cost more lives or will Delhi’s crisis show signs of improvement.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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