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Daily Covid cases in the city surged beyond 500 on Wednesday for the first time since July 15. Cases in Maharashtra, too, rose to 4,174, mainly due to the spurt in Mumbai and Nashik. The surge in Mumbai (532) comes after claims dropped to the year’s lowest 196 on August 17 and have triggered fears of the third wave. BMC officials said the higher numbers could be the result of more people testing themselves for Covid before travelling out of town for the 10-day Ganpati festival, which begins on Friday.

Mumbai is facing a surge in Covid cases.

Fatalities in the state and city continued to low. The state recorded 65 deaths, of which four were in Mumbai. The jump in cases in the city is reflected in the number of sealed buildings that have risen to 50 from 25. The BMC dashboard showed the first containment zone since August 14. While the zone was shown to be located in the R-south ward (Kandivli), ward officer Sandhya Nandedkar denied it and called it a data entry error. “We found only one case in this slum. For a containment zone, we need five or more cases,” she said. In April, the city had 2,800 containment zones.

BMC executive health officer Dr. Mangala Gomare said the rise could be due to two factors. More people tested for Ganpati travel and easing of restrictions since August 15. “We conducted close to 50,000 tests and found 532 cases. However, there is no corresponding rise in critical cases in hospitals,’’ said Gomera. At Andheri’s Seven Hills Hospital, which is the BMC’s main Covid hospital. The daily admissions have risen by 2% or 3% daily. On Wednesday, 35 new patients were admitted, taking the bed occupation to 392 in the 1,500-bed hospital. However, the government have more beds to tackle the third wave.

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