Mumbai: Rapid Antigen Tests help BMC detect most COVID-19 cases in Bandra
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Random rapid antigen tests have helped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) detect the maximum number of positive patients from across Bandra.

As a measure to curb the rising Covid-19 cases, the civic body had begun conducting random Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) at multiple crowded locations in the city, including shopping malls, markets and commercial hubs. Based on the area and floating population, each ward has been set a testing target.

Of all the 24 municipal wards, the maximum number of positive cases have been detected from the H west (HW) ward which covers Bandra west, along with Khar and Santacruz and H east (HE) ward, which covers Bandra east, along with part of the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

Between March 22 and 30, a total of 358 positive patients were detected from HE ward after 17,150 RAT tests in all, while 252 positive patients were detected from HW ward, from 5,534 total tests that had been conducted.

Senior officials of the BMC public health department said that more than 90 per cent of positive patients were not local residents and had been coming to these areas for work. The officials also maintained that the maximum number of positive patients were detected from commercial zones and market areas.

“More than 23,000 tests have been conducted in these two wards in just seven days, which is why the total number of positive cases detected is also very high. This is helping us catch infections at an earlier stage,” said a public health official.

Civic officials further informed, many of those infected live in the satellite city and as a precautionary measure, had been shifted to local BMC facilities.

The rate of positivity of the random RAT tests is higher in areas which have commercial zones and high population density, officials said. Apart from Bandra, high number of tests were being conducted in Kurla, Andheri East, Borivli and Grant Road.

Some of the other wards from where a high rate of positive patients have been detected are: K east (Andheri east) - 233, P North (Malad) - 224, N ward (Ghatkopar) - 236 and R Central (Borivli) - 219.

“The process of testing is still in the initial stage and we are ramping up the frequency of tests in a phased manner. The population density of Mumbai is very high and we will soon be conducting more tests in multiple locations,” the official added.

So far, the civic body has conducted 1.82 lakh random RAT tests, of which 3,739 people have been found positive.

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