BEST conducts rapid antigen tests on staff
AFP

Keeping in mind the possibility of a second Covid wave, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has started conducting rapid antigen tests on its frontline workers.

Earlier, as a precautionary measure, the BEST medical department was monitoring the health status of the employees via tele monitoring. Members of the team used to call the frontline workers regularly once in a week and took feedback of their health conditions.

Nearly 1,000 frontline workers of the BEST were tested in the first phase of the trials of which five were found positive. BEST Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Anil Kumar Singhal stated, the number of tests to be conducted in the second phase will be increased.

"Being on frontline service BEST workers has a high chance of getting exposed, although the infection rate is presently low still we don't want to take any risks hence we will be increasing the number of tests," Singhal told FPJ.

Earlier during June-July when the pandemic was at its peak in Mumbai there were nearly 180-200 active cases daily. Currently, there are only 48 active cases in the BEST undertaking, the recovery rate has also touched 95 per cent as the number of cases have started to fall.

Between April and November, BEST has reported 2,799 cases of which 2,655 patients were successfully discharged and 52 patients have succumbed. In order to boost their immunity, the medical team has also provided an immunity boosting kit to each of the frontline workers, containing vitamin c and zinc tablets.

"Presently our buses are running with full seating capacity and the ridership has also increased, which means the chance of our employees getting infected is more if there's a second wave thus we are leaving no options unchecked and have asked employees with flu like symptoms to refrain from joining duty," Singhal added.

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