Mumbai Buzz: COVID cases rise | New wards to be announced…and more

COVID cases up from 618 to 2175 between April 15th and May 25th; Activists appeal to Bombay HC to save Kharghar wetlands, and more news from Mumbai this week

COVID cases rise in Mumbai

Concerns over rising COVID cases in the state were raised at the cabinet meeting on May 26th. On May 25th, the number of positive cases in the state was at 2,175, from 618 cases on April 15th. A large portion of the rise is due to Mumbai, exactly 67.27%.

Despite lower numbers than last year, and the city removing the mask mandate in April, the government is now urging citizens to maintain masking. 

“We removed the restriction of wearing masks on April 2 and within a span of 15 days the cases have gone up. If cases continue to go up, masks have to be made compulsory,” said a state government official. 

Source: Economic Times

Activists appeal to HC to save Kharghar wetlands

Destruction at the Kharghar wetlands has prompted environmental activists to appeal to the Bombay High Court-appointed wetlands committee. Complaints of construction debris at NRI wetlands at sector-60, Nerul, have also reached chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

While CIDCO was quick to retreat and stop all work in the area, activists feel that this won’t be for long. 

NatConnet Foundation director BN Kumar alleges that the holding pond in the wetlands is a natural flood control mechanism and disposing of it would be disastrous for Kharghar. For a long time now, construction in the area has become consistent, despite an official court order giving the wetlands a status worthy of protection. 

Source: The Times of India

patches of green in Kharghar at the backdrop of hills and buildings
Excessive construction is threatening Kharghar’s ecosystem. Pic credit – Michael Kohli, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

BMC schoolchildren to draw ward reservation lottery

On May 31st, schoolchildren from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will draw the lottery for announcing ward reservations. The civic body will kick off the lottery with a presentation on how the reserved seats have been selected. 

After delimitation, the BMC will now have 236 wards for the upcoming 2022 elections. 50% of these seats will be reserved for women, and no seats will be reserved for Other Backward Communities (OBC). If the Supreme Court approves the recently contested OBC quota, then a fresh lottery in July/August will be issued. 

Source: The Times of India

Navi Mumbai civic body issues new guidelines for monkeypox

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has issued guidelines for hospitals to follow given the rise in cases of monkeypox globally. However, no cases have been reported in Mumbai yet.

  1. Citizens and hospitals have been asked to report to the civic body immediately when a patient showing signs of monkeypox is found.
  2. Initial monitoring will be conducted at the airport, but if a traveller shows signs, later on, they have to report to the NMMC.
  3. Samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.
  4. In case someone is found positive, they will be isolated and treated according to protocol.
  5. All hospitals and doctors in the state have been informed of the guidelines.

Early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, body ache and weariness.

Source: Mumbai Live

Read more: How prepared were Mumbai’s hospitals for the third wave of COVID-19?

The BMC will now keep a digital record of students’ health

Students in BMC’s Mumbai Public School (MPS) will now have a health card for the upcoming academic year starting June. Software developed by the civic body will update on health-related information of every student, along with academic information.

The BMC education department will collate reports of all periodical health check-ups, specific health or medical condition of a child, treatments done in the past as well as ongoing medicines.

“If any child is seen developing any health issue through these records, proactive action can be taken. In civic body-run hospitals, treatments will be done for free if required,” said an official from the department.

Source: Indian Express

Water storage in Maharashtra dams is now down to 36%

With rising temperatures and no monsoon in sight, the water shortage in Maharashtra’s dams has become quite pronounced. Water reserves across dams have reduced to 36.7% of full capacity, almost at par with last year.

As of now, 401 tankers are ferrying water to villages in the state. At the same time last year, 319 tankers were ferrying water. New figures are as of May 25th, discussed at a review in the state cabinet.

Western Maharashtra has the lowest water reserves with dams at only 29% capacity. Water levels in dams in Nagpur and North Maharashtra are currently at 35% capacity. 

Source: The Times of India

Compiled by Saachi D’Souza

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