Mumbai is battle-ready to face even a "tsunami" of coronavirus cases, the city's Mayor Kishori Pednekar told NDTV today as India's financial capital continues to see an uptick, believed to be propelled by the new Omicron variant.
"In our fight against the pandemic, after the Delta variant, this new variant has emerged - Omicron. Our hospitals and Covid centres are ready. Vaccination is also taking place at a steady pace. The guidelines - both central and state - are being followed. The cops are keeping a check on the violators," Ms Pednekar explained.
About a week ago, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had warned about an unprecedented rise in Covid cases - across the world - due to the new highly contagious variant. "I am highly concerned that Omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases," he had said. Today, reports said, the United States registered a record daily surge of 10 lakh fresh infections.
On being asked about the remark and the sudden spike in infections in the city, Mumbai's Mayor stressed: "We have followed the WHO guidelines. We have jumbo quarantine centres ready. While the city and Maharashtra will do its best to contain the spread, even if a tsunami comes, we should be ready."
During the second wave, the city had faced a shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen. Underlining that lessons were learned, the Mayor said, "We noted the gaps last time. Over 30,000 beds - apart from hospital beds - are presently there, oxygen plants are operational. Manpower is also there. We are ready for the third wave."
Cases in Mumbai are rising four times faster than before, the top official added. But most cases, she underscored, have been asymptomatic.
On Monday, the city recorded 8,082 of the state's 12,160 fresh Covid cases. However, 90 per cent of them were asymptomatic, official data showed.
Another emerging concern for the officials in the city is the Cordelia Cruise ship, which is returning from Goa after over 60 people tested positive.
The Mayor assured that testing will be done extensively: "We are on a high alert. Those on board will have to undergo RT-PCR tests and till the results are out, they will not be allowed to deboard the ship. They will be allowed the list of quarantine centres and hotels, and the samples will also be sent for genome sequencing."