Mumbai: COVID-19 testing 1/4th of December 2021

On an average, the BMC had conducted around 35,000 tests every day at the start of the third Covid-19 wave, when cases were less than 1,000, compared to over 8,500 tests per day between May 30 and June 5, 2021

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 11:24 PM IST
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Mumbai: COVID-19 testing 1/4th of December 2021 | (PTI Photo)

The ever-growing coronavirus numbers in the city could be much higher than reported as the testing is four times less than what it was in the last week of December 2021. On an average, the BMC had conducted around 35,000 tests every day at the start of the third Covid-19 wave, when cases were less than 1,000, compared to over 8,500 tests per day between May 30 and June 5, 2021.

Officials, though, have attributed this drop to the Centre’s guidelines where they had stated not to conduct Rt-PCR for everyone except mild and severe patients. Moreover, testing was reduced ever since restrictions were lifted after the third wave. However, the civic chief had directed on June 2 to increase testing by five times.

An official said, “There is no doubt testing has been reduced drastically compared to what it was during the third wave. The Central government issued a circular in January advising testing only symptomatic people. In the Omicron-Covid wave, over 85 per cent of those who tested positive had none to mild symptoms.”

State health minister Rajesh Tope said, “We have been witnessing a surge in Covid cases owing to which the test positivity rate has increased to 8 per cent from 2-3 per cent. Moreover, it is the Omicron variant and its sub lineages such as BA.4 and BA.5 which have been spreading in the city.”

Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the National Covid-19 Taskforce said “Testing will increase in the next three to four days as per the order issued by the civic chief. Moreover cases will increase further due to which people should get tested if they have any symptoms.”

Sriram Natarajan, the CEO and founder-director of Molbio Diagnostics said testing can play a crucial epidemiological role in India’s efforts to contain and mitigate Covid by finding and isolating people, preventing the spread and preventing further outbreaks.

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