Two years on, Mumbai has seen a million Covid cases and more than 16k deaths
An analysis of Covid cases and deaths shows that Mumbai managed to bring down its mortality rate with every wave
Mumbai: As the city completes two years since the first cases were detected on March 11, 2020, doctors say the city is much better prepared to handle such large-scale outbreaks, even as the uncertainty of a new variant remains. An analysis of Covid cases and deaths shows that Mumbai managed to bring down its mortality rate with every wave.
The analysis conducted by the state’s public health department shows that Mumbai’s case fatality rate (CFR) was 3.7% in 2020, with 293,436 cases and 11,119 deaths. In 2021, the number of cases was 501,543 and deaths were 5,261 which brought down the CFR to 1%. This year, up till February 28, the total number of cases was 269,963 and deaths were 311 and the CFR was 0.1%. A state official said that these numbers are constantly reconciled and may vary slightly with the latest updated data, however, the larger trends remain the same.
As per the state’s latest data released on Thursday, Mumbai’s total Covid cases had touched 1,056,213 and deaths were 16,692.
“We really struggled through the first wave, because everything that the doctors were dealing with was new,” said Dr Avinash Supe, head of the Covid-19 death audit committee of the state. “During the second wave, we were dealing with a newer variant and therefore the first few weeks were tough. But Mumbai still did well in comparison with Delhi in terms of beds and oxygen requirements. The third wave was much better in terms of mortality because the city was overall better prepared and the nature of the variant was also different,” he said. Covid-19 vaccination also played a crucial role in limiting the mortality during the third wave. The first wave was driven by the original Wuhan virus, the second wave was led by the Delta variant and the third wave was by Omicron.
“With the experience from the past two years, the city is definitely more ready to tackle a mass outbreak. Even as a few jumbo Covid-19 facilities may shut down, other facilities are equipped to handle an increased caseload,” said Supe.
Intensive care consultant and member of the Covid-19 task force, Dr Rahul Pandit said that despite the readiness, the city needs to do more. “The two years of the pandemic have exposed the vulnerability of people with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Mumbai needs to tackle these diseases upfront and reduce their burden in order to save lives,” he said. Pandit also highlighted the importance of high-quality intensive care units (ICUs) and the need for trained ICU specialists and infectious disease experts.
In addition to the existing hospitals, Mumbai got nine jumbo Covid19 facilities opened in phases over the past two years. As the third wave is over, four of the nine jumbo facilities are being dismantled. “The dismantling of the four jumbos will not affect the city’s response if cases rise,” said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani. “We have enough and more back-up to handle any such situation now,” he said.
Mumbai cases and deaths
(Analysis by the state’s public health department)