MUMBAI: A mathematical projection on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic worked out by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and submitted to the BMC has said that by December this year or January next year, almost 75% of the people living in slum pockets in the city and in 50% of the non-slum pockets would…
MUMBAI: A mathematical projection on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic worked out by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and submitted to the BMC has said that by December this year or January next year, almost 75% of the people living in slum pockets in the city and in 50% of the non-slum pockets would have antibodies. However, the model hasn’t accounted for the threat of reinfection, which has emerged as a concern across the world in the past fortnight.
The TIFR team has said the city should open up by 30% in September in terms of attendance in offices and capacity of transport systems. This could be increased to 50% in October. “The city should be further opened up gradually and become fully operational by around November 1,” said Dr Juneja. However, social distancing norms should be observed in public transport and hygiene measures should be followed such as mandatory use of masks, hand-hygiene and regular disinfection of surfaces in trains and workplaces. Given the sharp economic decline, there has been a demand to open up Mumbai (as well as the rest of the country) soon. The TIFR team hence studied various scenarios and found the November 1 date would lead to least amount of hospitalisations and deaths. Opening up mid-September, they said, could lead to a second wave of hospitalisations and rise in critical cases in Mumbai, which hit a plateau as far as Covid cases go in the May-June period. Incidentally, the city recorded higher-than-usual number of cases (1,737) on Saturday, mainly as a fallout of the increased outings during the recently-concluded tenday Ganpati festival. As per BMC’s update, Mumbai’s overall tally now is 1,53,712, with 7,832 deaths. “Our key observations are the second wave of hospitalisations and critical cases is much higher with the September 16th opening compared to the November 1 opening,” said the TIFR report. Dr Juneja said the projected hospitalisations increase from around 3,000 a day to a peak of about 4,200 a day with the September 16 opening, while the increase would be from about 1,600 a day to around 2,100 a day with the November 1 opening. “Our conclusion, based on our simulations, is that the impact of fully opening up the economy on November 1 is easily manageable with the current medical infrastructure. Schools and colleges opening in January do not lead to excessive increase in infections,” the report said. The TIFR team partnered with the BMC to conduct the three-ward sero-surveys in Mumbai. The first such survey in July indicated that 57% of the slums and 16% of the non-slum pockets had developed antibodies. The TIFR analysis of the second serosurvey is likely later this month. The TIFR simulations suggest that by around December 2020 and January 2021, the prevalence (fraction of the population infected) can be seen to be stabilising close to 75% in slums and 50% in non-slums. “This stabilisation and high prevalence indicates that Mumbai city may have more or less reached herd immunity by then and further new infections in the city will be substantially reduced,” the paper added.
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.