Mumbai: Second wave impact on BEST staff to be much less than first wave

The Covid-19 case tally in the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has fallen by a sharp 90 percent margin, in the past ten months.

Earlier in July 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, the BEST had reported 767 active cases. However in May 2021, the BEST had only 80 active cases, despite the second wave affecting the city of Mumbai adversely.

The BEST has an employee strength of 34,000, out of which 3,440 employees were already tested positive at some point of time through last year. This indicates that more than 10 percent of the BEST employees have already been infected with Covid-19.

According to medical officials of BEST, the frontline workers of the transport undertaking weren't affected much during the second wave, compared to the first wave. The medical officials also said that out of the total cases reported since April 2020, 60 percent were reported between June and September.

Dr Anil Kumar Singhal, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the BEST, said that more than 80 percent of the cases reported during the second wave were asymptomatic.

“Post Diwali, after cases started to come down in Mumbai, we started testing camps at our bus depots for our employees. By this we were able to detect the asymptomatic patients at the earliest and were able to isolate them," Singhal told FPJ.

He said that so far, more than 16 thousand employees have been tested at camps organised in the depots.

"Initially when the pandemic broke out we didn't have much information about the nature of the virus, but with time we gained experience and we understood that testing and isolation can only be the key for both detection and diagnosis," he said.

Singhal also mentioned that in the second wave the fatality rate amongst the patients have also fallen down drastically. At present there are only 22 active cases in the undertaking, as on June 5, while the recovery rate amongst the employees stands at 97 percent.

Alongside this, Singhal also maintained that vaccinating so many employees within four months have also helped them in averting the infection rate.

So far, 26,500 have already taken their Covid-19 vaccines, out of which, nearly 18 thousand employees have already completed both their doses.

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