The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has increased Covid-19 testing in the city by 28 per cent after Ganeshotsav. As per data, between September 20 and October 1, the BMC conducted 3,98,526 tests (36,229 tests per day), of which 4,890 tested positive compared to 3,11,289 tests (31,128 per day) that were done from September 10-19. However, the positivity rate has remained constant at 1.2 per cent.
Civic officials have attributed this to stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus infection, which were expected to rise after Ganpati festival. Moreover, the vaccination drive has helped beneficiaries develop antibodies, they said.
Additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani said the change in the Covid-testing protocol and vaccination drives have played an important role. “We had directed all ward officers to test high-risk or close contacts of infected people on the same day instead of waiting for five to seven days,” he said.
Considering that the schools are reopening from Monday and malls will be open all weekdays until 10 pm, Kakani said testing will be ramped up further from next week. “We are hoping to vaccinate 50 per cent of the population before Diwali,” he added. He said the occupants of all sealed buildings are also undergoing screening tests, irrespective of whether they fall under the high-risk category or not.
Kakani said, “Complacency has set in with testing and the volumes need to be urgently ramped up. We are not even using 50 per cent of our testing capacity. Early detection and treatment is the key to reduce complications and death.”
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