COVID-19 in Mumbai: Over 1L people tested for free at BMC centres

Three per cent of individuals tested positive for COVID-19 at the 244 free testing centres started by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). So far, over one lakh people were tested for coronavirus at these centres. Civic officials said they have received a good response from the citizens and many are coming forward to get themselves checked for the virus.

BMC had started these centres with an aim of increasing COVID-19 testing across Mumbai. Such facilities were started in all the 24 wards. Their addresses are available by calling toll free number 1916 run by the BMC’s main control room and on the COVID-19 dedicated website. The centre conducts both RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests.

Any individual who develops symptoms of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, or has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient can undergo tests at these centres free of cost. Symptoms include a fever, cough and cold, fever, difficulty in breathing and pneumonia.

Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC said, “Individuals can walk-in to any nearby centre and undergo the test, which is free of cost. This has encouraged people to undergo tests. But we have seen that the positivity rate is only 3%, which is much lesser than the city’s cumulative positivity rate.”

Due to the rise in the number of daily COVID-19 testing, which has been increased to over 17,000, the positivity rate dropped from 16% to 15% on November 28.

In the next phase, BMC will start testing domestic helpers, security guards and delivery boys who are most exposed to the public and can turn into a super spreader. “We have already started testing public vehicle drivers along with vegetable vendors. So, soon we will start testing security guards and maids, amongst others,” said Kakani.

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