COVID-19 in Mumbai: BEST initiates 'Operation Zero' for its frontline workers

Pratip Acharya | Updated on: Friday, December 18, 2020, 11:23 PM IST

Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus. | Bhushan Koyande
Man dressed at Santa sanitises a BEST bus. | Bhushan Koyande

Ahead of the vaccination drive, the BrihanMumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has initiated 'Operation Zero' for its employees, to attain the objectives - zero death, zero new cases, and zero active cases in the undertaking.

In the past one month, BEST in coordination with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been conducting the COVID-19 antigen tests of its employees. Till date, more than 1,500 employees have been tested, of which only 15 patients tested positive. Presently, there are only 30 active cases in the undertaking and the recovery rate of the patients have also improved over time.

"It appears that the infection rate of frontline workers has improved by a significant margin. Today, also, we have tested more than one hundred employees; however, not a single patient has tested positive," Dr. Anil Kumar Singhal, chief medical officer, BEST told the Free Press Journal.

Singhal also added that the majority of patients who tested positive are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, between November and December, not a single employee had succumbed to the virus. Earlier, this week, BMC had also announced that frontline workers of BEST will be tier 2 recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The ongoing antigen tests are helping us to understand the infection rate. This will help in the time of vaccine distribution as we will be able to trace vulnerable contacts easily," Singhal added.

Earlier, this month, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had also applauded BEST for its efficient management of the pandemic.

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Published on: Friday, December 18, 2020, 11:23 PM IST