Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has denied that there is a second wave of coronavirus infection in Mumbai as COVID-19 cases spike in the city. Speaking to CNBC-TV19, the commissioner said that neither does the CM nor the municipal corporation is in favor of imposing a lockdown, however, what the chief minister is hoping for is the strict adherence to the current Covid-19 restrictions which might help the state in tiding over the crisis. BMC commissioner said that Mumbai had 15,000 beds lying empty and 1,000 ICU beds empty. "We have almost 7,000 oxygen beds available, 1,000 ambulances on the dashboard and robust online dashboard of 147 hospitals, all these things are very reassuring especially when only 15 percent of people are coming symptomatic," he said. However, he also pointed out that despite being armed with medical equipment, the next 15 days would be very critical for Mumbai in assessing the covid situation.
Enlightening further on the ongoing situation, Chahal said that the playgrounds, sports complexes, marriage venues need to ensure SOPs are followed and warned of strict action on those failing to do so. While the virus load had gone down in the slums there were instances of a surge in cases amongst the middle class and upper-middle class. The civic body is taking up several steps to control the rising virus infections, he said. “We will seal society buildings having more than five COVID-19 cases. We will be stamping asymptomatic COVID-19 patients from now on, strictly track them and make sure they stay quarantined. Also, institutional quarantine is mandatory for travelers coming from Europe, UK and Brazil,” Chahal said. The BMC chief asked people to follow "COVID-appropriate" behaviour, saying that the next 15 days are very critical for Mumbai. “We might face problems two weeks later if “COVID-appropriate is not observed,” he said. The Maharashtra government has announced a state-wide ban on social, political and religious gatherings. Meanwhile, India recorded 1,00,990 fresh cases between February 15-21, the tally was 31 percent higher than the last week's case count- 77,284. The sudden spike was recorded in Maharashtra which witnessed a whopping 81 percent week-on-week rise in recorded infections.