With Mumbai reporting more than twenty thousand fresh cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, BMC commissioner Iqbal Chahal, in a recent interview with Bloomberg News, has surprised everyone by ruling out the possibility of another lockdown in the city. Yes, you heard it right. While the government already banned large gatherings and implemented several restrictions in public places, Chahal defended the decision by highlighting the fact that more than 90% of the cases were asymptomatic and are currently under home quarantine.
Furthermore, he even stated that most of the cases which required medical help were not vaccinated. “Yesterday (Wednesday), we got more than 15,000 cases. Of which only 80 patients went on oxygen beds and only around 35 needed intensive care. There is no case for a lockdown,” Chahal added.
The BMC chief also stated that double vaccinated people have been recovering faster, which is one thing that is helping Mumbai. And when quizzed about the situation of beds and oxygen in the city, Chahal was quoted saying, “We are completely fine; there is no need to panic or create rumours, the city has ample hospital beds. Even if we get 40,000 cases or more per day, which may happen in the next few days, we can manage the situation. There won’t be an oxygen shortage or even a lockdown because only a small percentage of people need hospital beds or oxygen.”
While Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had earlier (on Tuesday) stated that lockdown could be imposed if the Covid-19 cases cross the twenty thousand mark in the city, but seems like the already-prepared civic body is willing to continue with the already implemented restriction.
In another report, Health Minister Rajesh Tope also ruled out the possibility of a lockdown and suggested that further curbs are being discussed (night and weekend curfew). The TOI report also quoted Tope stating that the local trains would continue to function despite an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. “Shutting Mumbai’s local trains is not under discussion,” Tope added.
While India has witnessed a jump of nearly 30% in the past twenty-four hours, the number of Covid cases have spiked from ten thousand to more than a lakh in just a week. And with many considering this Omicron driven unprecedented spike as the third wave, the Indian government has already started taking necessary steps to curb the spread.