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Explained: Why’s Mumbai Seeing Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases 

The Quint analyses the reason behind the surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and how the curve may be flattened.

Published
News Videos
3 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editors:
Varun Sharma, Deepthi Ramadas

COVID-19 cases are rising exponentially in Mumbai, India's financial capital and one of the world's most populous cities. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is Asia’s richest metropolitan municipality. With an annual budget of over Rs 30,000 crore and a fixed deposit of Rs 50,000 crore, the BMC has no shortage of money. Yet, there is no respite from the rapid increase in coronavirus cases. The Quint analyses the reason behind the surge in cases and how the curve may be flattened.

Currently, the Maximum City is under maximum threat from the coronavirus pandemic. This is how cases and deaths due to COVID-19 rose in Mumbai:

Explained: Why’s Mumbai Seeing Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases 
(Graphic: The Quint)
Explained: Why’s Mumbai Seeing Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases 
(Graphic: The Quint)
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Why the Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases in Mumbai?

Reason 1: Dense Population

Till we find a vaccination for COVID-19, the best way to curb the spread of the virus is by maintaining social distance. However, social distancing is a big challenge to accomplish in Mumbai’s slums. According to Mumbai townplanner Chandrashekhar Prabhu, some 70 lakh people stay in the city’s slums. Narrow bylanes, small and dingy houses closely attached, more than five people staying in one small house, common toilets, open drains, and long queues to fetch water make curbing the spread of coronavirus in these slums nearly impossible. There are more than 630 positive cases in just Dharavi alone.

These small houses in Mumbai often do not even have windows, and not having proper ventilation increases the danger. Hence, it is no surprise that more than 50 percent of the total positive cases in Mumbai are from densely populated wards.

Reason 2: Low Testing Rate

According to the BMC, 66,000 people were tested in the city till 29 April. That is about 5,000 tests per one million people. But the problem is that it took a long time to increase the number of tests because in the beginning of April there were only 884 tests per million in the city.

Explained: Why’s Mumbai Seeing Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases 
(Graphic: The Quint)
Explained: Why’s Mumbai Seeing Exponential Rise in COVID-19 Cases 
(Graphic: The Quint)
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Reason 3: Lack of Coordination Between Maharashtra Govt & BMC

Though Shiv Sena holds power both in the BMC and the state government, the lack of coordination between the two is weakening the battle against COVID-19. While the state government insists that some non-essential shops, including liquor shops, should be conditionally opened even in the areas that fall under Red Zones, the BMC has opposed it.

Watch the video above for a detailed analysis.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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