With cases coming down, Chahal says at least 40,000 daily tests a must
Geetanjali Minhas | May 4, 2021 | Mumbai
To take preventive steps early and save lives, BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has urged citizens to come forward and get themselves tested.
Mumbai has seen a dip in Covid-19 cases in the last few days after an unprecedented increase in cases since the start of the second wave, when the BMC increased testing to as many as 56,000 tests on a single day.
Chahal said that aggressive testing policy has brought down reduction in the positivity rate in Mumbai city which might have reduced the natural demand for home collection of swabs by citizens in the last few days. “But the number of daily tests needs to increase.”
Over the last few days, Mumbai has been witnessing a dip in daily Covid-19 infections after witnessing as many as 11,000 new cases in a single day on April 13. On Sunday, Mumbai recorded 3,672 new cases.
“The aggressive policy of BMC has led to reduction of testing figures in the last few days from 50,000 to 28,000 yesterday [Sunday] and around 38,000 day before. It is expected that cases are likely to fall further during weekends but there is a need to increase testing to 40,000 per day at least, if not more,” said Chahal.
“Our highest single day testing from March 2020 till February 10, when the second wave hit Mumbai was 24,500. However, immediately thereafter our testing was more than doubled and touched 56,000 tests on a single day in April. Our average daily testing in the month of April was nearly 44,000 per day,” he said.
Chahal said that the BMC’s aggressive testing policy has resulted in reduction of the positivity rate and appealed to the citizens to come out and get themselves tested to “Flush the Virus”.
The opposition has been accusing the BMC of low testing.
Maharashtra on Monday reported 48,621 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total so far to 47,71,022 cases. Mumbai reported 6,680 new cases with 195 deaths with a total of 567 deaths in the state. The recovery rate in the state is 84.7%. Currently, 39,08,492 people are in home quarantine and 25,593 people are in institutional quarantine. Mumbai recorded total positivity rate (TPR) of 7.79% on May 2 maintaining TPR in the range of 12% to 9% through last week of April.
Meanwhile, BMC on Monday announced a list of 60 walk-in vaccination centres for those above 45 years of age requiring only the second dose. Citizens will first need to inquire about the availability of the vaccine at these centres and also carry certificates/SMS of the first dose.
Those in the age group of 18-44 years may have to wait for some more time. They will have to first register themselves on the CoWin app.
India is facing a severe shortage of vaccines and several states have not been able to initiate vaccination for the 18-44-year age group which began on May 1. Those above 45 years of age are also facing difficulties in getting appointment for their first jabs.
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