Three Reasons why Mumbai is suffering much more than Other Cities

Here are three reasons why Mumbai could be suffering much more than other cities

  1. Greater Mumbai has 5.2 m people living in Slums. The next highest is in Hyderabad at 2.3 m. Delhi Metro Area is 3rd highest at 1.78 m. Bangalore has 0.7 m. With large number of people living in slums, social distancing, access to healthcare and contact tracing becomes extraordinarily difficult.

Hindustan Times Reported today that

659 of the 684 containment zones in the city of Mumbai live in slums and chawls, these densely populated areas and small tenements

A combination of a large number of people living in slums and chawls unmatched by any city in the other country is one of the biggest reasons for high incidence of COVID-19 in Mumbai.

2. The average size of an apartment in Mumbai is about 530 sq feet, Pune is at 600 sq feet, Bangalore is around 1300 sq feet. The Delhi capital region is around 1390 square feet. The average household size in Mumbai is about 4.5, Pune is 4.2, Bangalore is 4, Delhi is 4.8. When you divide the area by household size (area would actually be even lesser in case of Mumbai because these are apartment sizes, not slums)

  • Mumbai comes to 110 Sqft per person
  • Pune comes to 143 Sqft per person
  • Bangalore comes to 325 Sqft per person
  • Delhi comes to 290 Sqft per person

If one applies the 6 feet rule, if someone gets COVID in an household in Mumbai, they can’t maintain the 6 feet distance. While the Govt has not published statistics, it should not surprise anyone if Mumbai has the highest within household transmission. In Bangalore, people get 10 feet distance, in Delhi more than 9.5 feet. Asymptomatic cases in particular would spread far more easily in Mumbai than any other State given the lack of personal space.

3. Healthcare: There are 40000 hospital beds in Mumbai, Delhi has more than 50000 hospital beds. While Bangalore data is not available, we know for sure that that Karnataka has 2.5 times the bed availability of Maharashtra. While the overall healthcare situation is not bad in Maharashtra as a whole, the ordinary infrastructure gets easily exposed in a crisis is like this. The ordinary performance of the Maharashtra economy over the last 5 years also did not help. On the other hand, the other metro economies performed very well until last financial year.

This is over and above governance and mismanagement issues that have been discussed in great detail.

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