According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in Mumbai, posh societies and high-rise buildings are reporting a major chunk of COVID-19 cases in the city daily. Mumbai has nearly 87,000 active cases reported, of these 90 percent are concentrated in high high-income locality areas while just 10 percent from slums.
As per the latest data released by the BMC, posh societies, high-rise building areas, and closed societies have in total 79,032 actives cases. While low-income slum areas located in the city registered just 8,411 active cases out of the 87,443 active cases in the city.
Last year when the city was hit by the first wave of the novel coronavirus in June 2020, two-third of the total COVID cases were reported from slums and chawls. Mumbai’s slums have high population density, during the first wave 42 lakh people in slums were confined in containment zones when compared to only 8 lakh people from buildings.
In July 2020, the first serosurvey conducted by the officials showed seroprevalence in the city’s slum population at 57 percent but only 16 percent in buildings. The second serosurvey conducted a month later showed seroprevalence in 45 percent of the slum population compared to 18 percent for non-slums, a jump of just 2 percent.
Analysts following the spread in different geographical regions of the city said that the rapid rise of cases seen in the city will likely follow a sharp fall too. The number of containment zones in the slums stood at 100 while sealed buildings in the city stood at 1,169. On April 4, the city reported 11,163 cases, its highest cases in a single day.
Today Mumbai reported 8,479 cases and the total tally stands at 5,79,311 cases. A sharp rise of cases in high rise and buildings can be tackled with concentrated vaccine drives to increase people with seroprevalence build-up.
BMC’s action plan
Change in cases reporting from slums to high-rise buildings leads BMC to change its SOPs. A new standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal in April focused on declaring housing societies as micro containment if they have more than five active cases.
According to the BMC data, 667 buildings are sealed and declared as micro containment zone across the cities where the majority of the high-rise population lives. In total, 1,169 buildings are sealed while the number of sealed floors across the city stood at 10,797. There are over 20 lakh people in these micro containment zones and sealed floors.