The Maharashtra government's "lockdown like restrictions" have been a reason for the low testing in the last week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court on Thursday. The civic body has further said that usually on Mondays it gets fewer samples as the testing stalls are usually shut.
This comes on an affidavit filed by Dr Mangla Gomare, the executive health officer of BMC, through senior counsel Anil Sakhare.
The affidavit filed before a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni states that till April 26, a total of 55,43,502 tests (both RT-PCR & Antigen) have been carried out in the city.
As per Dr Gomare, the average daily testing of Mumbai is approximately 45,000 samples.
"However, from the day of strict lockdown, from April 22, 2O21 the testing has gone down to some extent," the affidavit states.
It further explains, " Since, the testing at the crowded public places, like malls, railway stations, markets, etc. has gone down, which has affected the average testing per day."
Notably, the civic body had in March put up stalls outside crowded malls, railway stations, bus stands etc. for testing. The aim was to conduct at least a lakh tests per day. But since there has been a lockdown now, these public places receive less footfall and thus the decline in total testing, the civic body has argued.
"Normally also the number of testing reported on every Monday (at these public places) is less than average, due to weekly off to the stall of testing labs and weekly maintenance of machinery used for testing in the labs," the affidavit reads.
The affidavit further states that the civic body has conducted the highest number of tests only in the month of April 2021. "A total of 11,72,559 tests have been done in April alone. Out of the total 55,43,502 tests conducted since 2020, 69 per cent of tests are done by RT-PCR and the rest 31 per cent are done through Antigen testing.