The Centre on Thursday hailed BMC's move to implement a Rapid Action Plan (RAP) for the city's northern suburbs to curb sport in Coronavirus cases there. While Mumbai’s major Covid-19 hotspots such has Dharavi and Worli have shown significant improvement, some of the northern suburbs such as Mulund, Bhandup, Malad, Kandivli, Borivli, and Dahisar continue to register high cases on a daily basis. In these suburbs the doubling rate is below the average of 39 days.
The Rapid Action Plan has been modelled on the lines of the strategy that helped contain the spread in Worli and Dharavi. As part of the plan, BMC has pressed into service 50 mobile fever clinics in ambulances in these areas. The mobile clinics drive around through the day with a team of doctors, who carry out door-to-door screening of residents, check for fever and other symptoms, co-morbidities, and collect swabs, if there is any suspected person.
The steps for elaborate screening include a door to door survey of at least 10,000 houses per ward. Each community volunteer, equipped with a thermal scanner and a pulse oximeter screens about 100 houses. A massive population of 25 lakh people will be screened in the coming week.
"The Centre has been closely cooperating with local bodies by devising pre-emptive, pro-active and graded response policy. In this regard, various guidelines, advisories and treatment protocols have been developed and shared with the states to strengthen the collective response towards combating Covid 19," sources at the Union Health Ministry said.
Sources said the Centre has already lauded the BMC’s ‘chase the virus’ strategy by aggressively conducting targeted tracing of Covid suspects. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in its communication noted that BMC adopted a model of actively following 4 Ts – Tracing, Tracking, Testing and Treating. This approach included activities like proactive screening.
Moreover, the Centre has also hailed the state government’s decision to procure 1 lakh Rapid Antigen test kits to screen people across Covid19 hotspots in Mumbai and Pune. This is expected to speed up testing.
Rapid Antigen Test – performed on a suspected patient’s nasal swab – detects the presence of viral proteins in the nasal secretion on the swab. The result is available in less than 30 minutes.