Mumbai Buzz: lockdown extended, water cuts, poor not getting vaccinated

Here’s all the news you missed from Mumbai this week.

Maharashtra extends lockdown

The Maharashtra government has extended the lockdown in the state till 7 am of June 1. New curbs will be imposed on weddings and only 25 people will now be allowed to attend. Only in certain cases, like a funeral or medical emergencies, will people be allowed to travel between different cities or districts in the state. Under these orders, government offices except emergency services related to the pandemic, will open with only 15 percent attendance.

Source: DNA India

Read more: More people fall prey to online scams during the lockdown

Mumbai sounds the alarm on COVID-19 related diabetes, fungal infection

Several doctors and experts across the city are worried that indiscriminate use of steroids compounded by the virus’s effects on pancreas are increasing the cases of diabetes in COVID-19 patients. Doctors are urging that steroids not be used in the first week as early use of steroids can harm metabolic health. Experts are also suggesting that recovered patients should follow a healthy diet and monitor their blood sugar for three months. Civic officials said that over 111 known patients of the invasive fungal infection, mucormycosis, are undergoing treatment in government medical colleges alone.

Although rare, the infection has been detected in higher numbers among patients who were on heavy steroid doses during their COVID-19 treatment cycles especially if they also had diabetes prior. Mumbai’s Sion Hospital has reported 24 cases of the infection in the past two months. This is a huge rise in comparison to the six cases a year the hospital saw of mucormycosis in the past.

Source: Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror, BBC

Digital inequality worsens vaccination program

Many working-class residents of Mumbai are being turned away from vaccination centres for not being registered on the COWIN app. However, lack of both internet and smartphone access are not being factored in by authorities in their decisions regarding vaccination.

Thousands of other poor migrants, daily wagers, domestic help and semi-literate workers at construction sites are yet to be vaccinated due to to these inequalities. “60% of migrants from Tamil Nadu do not have access to smartphones,” said Srithar Tamilan of Mumbai Vizhithezhu Iyakkam, an association of Tamil residents of Dharavi.

Source: Times of India

Read more: In e-learning push, corporation schools in Mumbai left in the lurch

Mumbai to see 10% temporary water cut

Brett Cole

Emergency repair work will result in a 10% cut in Mumbai’s water supply from May 17 – May 21. BMC has released a statement asking residents to store water and use it sparingly. However, there have been no specific notifications regarding which areas will bear the brunt of the cut. In February, water was cut for two days in F-North and F-South wards which includes Matunga, Parel, Dadar East, and Lalbaug areas.

Source: Mumbai Live

Read more: Explainer – How Mumbai gets its water

Mumbai labs see drop in testing rates

Some labs in the city are reporting a whopping 50% drop in the demand for COVID-19 testing. In April, private labs were processing around 15,000 samples daily. This has now decreased to about 8,000 per day. According to Iqbal Chahal, BMC Chief, official data shows that overall testing has reduced by 36%. Delays in giving reports during previous months was largely because of the overwhelming demand for tests along with a shortage of testing kits.

Now, laboratories claim that they are able to provide people with reports in 36 hours. While many believe this to be a result of the lockdown, some experts also say this is a result of the ICMR guideline which states that testing is not required once a person has tested positive and has either recovered or strictly maintained the mandatory quarantine.

Source: Hindustan Times

Hany Babu tests positive for COVID-19

Arrested under the Elgar Parishad case, Hany Babu has now tested positive for coronavirus while also struggling with an acute eye infection. Although he is being treated at J. J. Hospital, Babu’s family have urged that he be shifted to a COVID-19 hospital that also has a ophthalmology specialist owing to his gradual loss of vision. His mother claimed on the 13th of May that they are yet to receive any official information either from the prison or from the NIA of his current status.

Hany Babu is not the first from the Elgar Parishad case to contract the virus while incarcerated. Last month, Jyoti Jagtap also tested positive while imprisoned in Byculla Jail. Family members of the 16 individuals arrested in the case are demanding that Maharashtra release them.

Source: Times of India, Scroll, Wire

Cyclone Tauktae may cause Sunday showers in Mumbai

Nitish Raj

A cyclone forming over the Arabian Sea may bring moderate or heavy rainfall in some areas of the city. Scientists say that strong and gusty winds are likely to prevail along Maharashtra-Goa coast. Experts are recommending that fishermen return from the deep sea and not venture out for the next few weeks.

Coastal district commanders of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep Islands have been ordered to relay warnings to mariners at sea and fishing boats to take shelter at the nearest port or shore.

Source: Times of India, Mid-Day

Read more: Why fishermen in suburban Mumbai find their catch shrinking steadily

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