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Mumbai

Updated on: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 07:42 AM IST

Sharp drop: Covid testing down by 18.22% in Maharashtra

fficials attribute the decline to ongoing festive seasons, during which, most people were hesitant to come forward for testing
Mumbai: A health worker takes swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 test, at a railway station in Mumbai |  (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)

Mumbai: A health worker takes swab sample of a passenger for COVID-19 test, at a railway station in Mumbai | (PTI Photo/Kunal Patil)

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There has been a sharp drop in the covid cases and deaths in Maharashtra and Mumbai in the last 14 days. The testing for the virus has also gone down by 18.22 per cent in state and 5.39 per cent in the city during the same time. State and civic officials have attributed this drop to ongoing festive seasons, during which, most people were hesitant to come forward for testing.

However, an expert in infectious disease and member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 task force, Dr Om Shrivastav said there has been an actual drop in daily cases and this is not related to a fall in testing. “We are in stable condition right now. During the festive season, there has been a reduction in Covid testing, but it will increase in the coming days. There is a need of focusing on testing and contact tracing for the early diagnosis of the virus.”
According to the data analysed by the Free Press Journal, the state health department had conducted 20,57,862 lakh covid testings between September 20 to October 3 (post-Ganesh festival) which has now dropped to 16,82,750 between October 4 to 17. Similarly, the city has also witnessed a drop in the covid testing from 4,80,618 to 4,54,688 during the same period.
Experts believe that Mumbai needs to continue testing more people. However, the civic body believes testing might have been reduced due to the drop in demand for home collection of swabs by citizens in the last few days.
State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate said the figures have declined due to vaccinations and medication. “We have been proactively taking steps to rein in the virus as well as undertaking mass vaccinations. This has paid rich dividends in the form of reduction in cases.”
Suresh Kakani, Additional Municipal Commissioner said there are some days when testing is less but the BMC is focusing on increasing testing to 55,000 ahead of festive seasons. Moreover, the BMC has urged people to get themselves tested for Coronavirus immediately if they have any Covid-like symptoms. “Testings might have reduced but we have directed all the medical health officers to conduct aggressive testing in all wards. There is much anticipation related to the third wave so we will be increasing testing."
Another member of the Maharashtra Covid-19 task force, Dr Rahul Pandit has said the civic body has the capacity of conducting one lakh Covid testings daily but it is not clear why there has been a reduction in Covid testing since cases have increased. “BMC needs to increase the testing considering the third wave will have an adverse impact and it can be controlled only if Covid cases are diagnosed early. We have been seeing the Covid graph when testing is reduced in Mumbai, the cases have surged which is not a good sign.”

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Published on: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 07:42 AM IST
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