Mumbai could see “stringent measures (read lockdown)” if daily Covid cases cross the 20,000 mark, the city’s civic body chief Iqbal Singh Chahal told NDTV today in an exclusive interview, adding that 80 per cent of the daily cases are of the Omicron strain.
“Discussed lockdown with the Chief Minister. We are against stringent measures for now. If we cross 20,000 cases a day, could consider stringent measures (like lockdown)…Unlike in the past, determining factor for lockdown is not positivity rate but hospitalisation/bed availability,” said Mr Chahal, informing that the city has 30,000 beds.
“Even if we get 10,000 beds occupied every day, we can handle it,” he said.
The remarks come amid a Covid surge driven by the new Omicron strain in Maharashtra and several other parts of the country.
‘Have spoken to experts. They say Omicron is now 80 per cent of our cases. This will also touch 90 per cent in the next few days,” said the civic body chief.
Maharashtra has seen 67 lakh confirmed cases since the pandemic struck – the highest in the country. Following a dip after the second wave, the Covid numbers have been rising exponentially in the state, especially in capital Mumbai.
The state recorded 11,877 new Covid cases yesterday, 29 per cent higher than the day before. Mumbai alone accounted for 8,063 of the new infections.
On the aggressive rise in cases, the civic chief said, “Omicron is spreading in Mumbai mainly because of passengers coming from non-risk countries. In the last 35 days, almost 2,00,000 passengers arrived (in Mumbai, from non-risk countries). Many of them are carriers of Omicron virus.”