Silver linings

Maharashtra can control COVID-19 cases with better adherence to safety protocols

March saw Nagpur go under lockdown owing to the surge in Covid-19 cases; so did Parbhani district. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned that strict lockdown measures would be initiated in other regions, too, to contain the spread. The Union government has already dispatched a team to assist the state administration. The current rise in daily cases is reminiscent of the state’s situation in October, when 10,000 plus cases used to be reported every day. Mumbai has been reporting more than 1,000 cases daily. But city doctors say that it is not all bleak. The spike, they say, is limited to certain areas in the city and that the cases are milder.

Dr Anita Mathew,
internal medicine specialist, Fortis Hospital

The numbers have definitely gone up. However, we have not seen a spike across all wards in Mumbai. There are certain wards where the numbers are really high. For instance, in Mulund, where I practise, we have a huge number of cases and there has been a constant increase. We expect this to continue well into the next couple of days or weeks. It may go down over a period of time. And the dip will only happen if people become more responsible. Vaccination has also brought in complacency. And with numbers going down in between—when the city reported about 300 cases a day—people assumed that the pandemic was over. One interesting aspect is that the high case numbers are being reported from apartments, and not necessarily from slums. I work with a municipal hospital as well and we are not seeing overwhelming numbers there.

Dr Alpa Dalal,

consultant chest physician, Jupiter Hospital

The city is undergoing vaccinations on an unprecedented scale. But the complaints of reactions post vaccination are much hyped. They are essentially mild in nature—pain at the jab site, mild fever, joint pain, dizziness and headache. These are all expected. But those who are frail, have very poor cardio-respiratory functions and are allergic to the ingredients used in the vaccine can develop serious reactions.

As of now, we are seeing that the cases in Mumbai are milder. Most people are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and the need for hospitalisation and ventilators is much less. We are seeing only 20-25 per cent of the ventilator cases we saw during last year’s peak.