Combating Corona: City goes on a test drive spree
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Ever since the state government gave a nod for patients to undergo COVID-19 tests without a doctor's prescription, there has been a significant rise in the number of tests happening across the state. With a huge number of Covid-19 cases being reported from highrises and gated complexes, more and more Mumbaikars are now undergoing the COVID-19 test independently.

Civic officials stated that in the last two weeks, 80% of the patients who tested positive did the COVID-19 tests by themselves. “People have become more aware about the virus. They are getting themselves tested if they have slightest of the symptoms," stated a health official of the civic body.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Zone 1), Harshad Kale said that most of the patients are in home quarantine. “This is because the number of cases coming from high rises have increased. People living in apartments have the option of isolating themselves in a room unlike those living in the slums,” Kale explained. Kale added that more people were now conducting the tests all by themselves as a precautionary measure.

Parag Masurkar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Zone 3) said that the testing numbers have increased rapidly. “The number of cases coming out is not very high. Although people are going out in large numbers and most of the malls and markets are also open there has not been any spike as such, which is a good sign for the city.”

A BMC official attributed this trend to the state government’s decision to let people get tested on their own. “People are not waiting for their symptoms to get worse. They are testing beforehand,” the official said. In the last 45 days, the number of asymptomatic patients has dipped. Most of the patients are being quarantined at homes, the reason why beds are vacant in the Covid Care Centre (CCC) facilities. Civic officials also highlighted the number of cases reported compared to the number of tests done. It shows that the city is on the verge of recovery.

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