BMC intensifies targeted COVID-19 testing in Mumbai as city witnesses case drop after Diwali

People can get themselves tested at BMC's free testing facilities & walk-in OPDs at Jumbo Centres.

In a bid to revive the declined testing capacity of the city and to gauge the anticipatory festive surge of COVID-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has stated that it will increase targeted testing in the coming days, in Mumbai. Targeting groups that were engaged in activities magnifying direct contact, this screening drive will be testing Shop keepers, hawkers, drivers and conductors of BEST and MSERT buses and other frontline workers including police officers. All catering, staff, security guards and health-medicinal officials will be tested as well.

BMC to Boost Testing in Mumbai

Ramping up testing capacities in Mumbai, the BMC officials have stated that all their free testing centres and walk-in OPDs in Jumbo Facilities will be at people's disposal. BMC officials said that they had set up 10 free testing centres in each of the city's 24 wards, to increase the testing potential of the city. The Municipal Authority has further urged people to get themselves tested even at the slightest suspicion of any virus symptoms.

This boost will also restore the testing capacities which dipped with diminished sampling over the festive weekend. Mumbai was conducting as many as 14,000 samples a day before the Diwali, where testing dropped to 5,399 samples on Saturday and 3,918 samples on Sunday, lowest tallies in the last few months. As of Monday, the city tested about 6,539 samples. Previously also, Mumbai witnessed a dip in COVID-19 testing on the occasion of Dussehra, when the city tested only 7,576 samples, in comparison to the 11,643 and 15,825 tests on the days preceding and following the festival, respectively.

BMC and the COVID-19 Task Force

These low numbers stand in contrast to the directives of the State's Task Force that has pushed BMC to jump into aggressive testing ahead of Diwali festival. The force has insisted on aggressive testing in order to control the surge in news COVID cases post the festival. BMC was directed test at least 20,000 people in a single day.

The Presiding Official of the this task force has suggested the BMC to set up testing kiosks and boost drive-in testing facilities, in order to ramp up testing in Mumbai as the city prepares for phased unlock. He also suggested distribution of masks through kiosks, free of cost or at subsidised rates.

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