Mumbai: BMC’s predictions fall short, Covid-19 cases increase faster than anticipated

The authorities’ predictions are crucial since they plan the scaling up of the health machinery, which comprises bed management, testing kits, and ventilators, based on them

10 Oct 2020 |  49

On October 4, there were 22,000 Covid-19 more cases than the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had predicted in September. Prior to this, BMC had predicted the number of active cases would reach 26, 628 by September 15; however, the number of active cases was 30, 879 by then. This indicates more rapid growth of Covid-19 cases than anticipated by city authorities. The BMC had predicted that the number of Covid-19 cases would reach 191,000 by October 4, whereas the number of positive cases in Mumbai was 213,000 by then. The number of daily infections has been hitting a record frequently. The authorities’ predictions are crucial since they plan the scaling up of the health machinery, which comprises bed management, testing kits, and ventilators, based on them. According to experts, prediction models fail due to irresponsible human behaviour with regard to following social distancing norms or wearing a mask. Shashank Joshi, a member of the state’s Covid-19 task force, said, “Apart from Covid-19 being unpredictable, the biology of the virus is not a mathematical model. Human behaviour is a key reason for viral transmission. If citizens act recklessly, don’t follow the rules of social distancing or wear masks, the number of cases is going to increase sharply. Any prediction will fail unless all citizens self-regulate. During the festival season, citizens did not wear masks or follow rules of social distancing, which led to the surge in cases in the following days.” The number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai had peaked in May but gradually reduced after June. However, after the festive season, there was an increase in cases by the end of August. The daily number of Covid-19 cases has been reporting a sharp increase with over 2,000 cases being reported in Mumbai since the second week of September. On Wednesday, Mumbai recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases with 2, 848 fresh cases taking the total number of cases in the city to 219,000. Joshi added that people make simple mistakes like removing masks in enclosed places. “I want to advise citizens to not remove masks while speaking, or while they are in the toilet. Avoid removing masks as much as possible,” he said.

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