Mumbai: Hawkers, veg vendors, milkmen to be tested in every 15 days

For curbing the spread of COVID-19 infection in the city, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now start testing hawkers, vegetables vendors, milkmen, delivery boys, staff of courier companies and other such people in every 15 days who daily come in contact with a large number of people.

The civic body has also directed owners of shops and hotels to get their all employees tested once in a month and also submit a work plan within 10 days. Officials said the main reason for doing this is to gauge the spread of coronavirus amongst the citizens, following which they can take several steps to curb the increasing cases.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said they have directed all the ward officers of the 24 wards to keep close tabs and conduct COVID-19 tests of each vegetable vendor, milkmen, delivery boys, staff of courier services and other such people in their areas.

“We don't want to leave any loophole following we have decided mandatory covid-19 tests of all those who are coming in contact with a large number of peoples on a daily basis. Moreover we have asked to prepare a team who will monitor covid-19 testing of vegetable vendors and hawkers in every 15 days,” he said.

Senior health officials said they have also formed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) was appointed for each area who will inspect households and inquire about health, checking temperature and oxygen saturation level of persons with comorbidities and senior citizens. “All these measures were in place when covid cases had surged last year in September, it is just now everything has been reactivated considering cases are likely to increase in the next 15 days. Moreover it will help us to understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus amongst the citizens,” he said.

Dr Deepak Baid, president, Association of Medical Consultants, said all these measures should have been in continuous process as cases were about to increase due to the laxity on the part of the citizens by not following the COVID norms. However, it's never late to take preventive measures.

“It is a good decision to do it as since the relaxation has started the people have become careless due to which its impact is seen on the daily cases. Moreover its good more tests will be done and more cases will be detected due to which we can curb the cases,” he said.

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