As many as 70 COVID-19 patients in Mumbai are listed as ‘missing’ in the records of the city’s civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The BMC has sought help from Mumbai police to track them down.
The issue came to light when those who had tested positive for coronavirus could not be contacted on the registered phone numbers or on their home address.
All cases of the missing COVID-19 patients have been reported from Malad area in north Mumbai, which is among the worst affected parts of the city. After BMC released the list, it was noticed that one of the phone numbers given for the name of a ‘missing’ patient was that of its own officer.
This situation now puts the patients and people who come in contact with them at greater risk of developing severe symptoms.
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Aslam Shaikh told NDTV that they are not being able to contact some patients, but they have not fled. It is possible that there may have been an error in noting their correct phone numbers or their addresses as a lot of the areas mentioned in addresses are of slums. He added that there is a chance that some patients may be migrant workers and may have left the city after being treated.
Speaking on the matter, Mumbai police spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police Pranay Ashok confirmed that the BMC has sought their assistance in tracing the patients.
The list of missing patients has been shared with the police and the related ward officers as well as police officers are working together.
Vinod Mishra, P North ward Committee President, who is also a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, said that the situation was an example of mismanagement by authorities.
Mumbai has reported more than 67,000 cases and 3,311 patients have succumbed to the infection so far.