BMC to increase daily COVID testing in Mumbai to about 14,000

A combination of accurate RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests to be used to achieve the tally

Mumbai has been witnessing an infection growth rate of 2.2% where cases have escalated up to 15,000 to 19,000 a day as opposed to the average 12,000 in August. This increased caseload in the city is a direct result of the increased socialising during the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi and scaled-up 7,619 testings in the city. The BMC has further initiated an active program to conduct as many as 14,000 tests a day to identify, monitor, treat and cure more cases in the city.

Increased testing for increased treatment

As per reports, Mumbai managed to test about a record high of 11,831 samples in a day and this tally is expected to reach 14,000 in the coming weeks. The BMC officials have explained that a combination of 85% of RT-PCR tests- absolute standard for COVID testing and 15% of rapid antigen tests for maximum reach will be used for this programme of mass testing in the city.

About 23 ICMR approved laboratories across the city would be involved in this procedure where an approximate of 12,000 samples will be tested through the method of RT-PCR to yield accurate and true results. With this system in place, the officials have been expecting a further increase in the daily rise of cases which is currently looming over a weekly average of 1,658 cases.

To handle these soaring numbers, the BMC is also preparing to boost its medical and treatment facilities; amping up equipment and bedding across the city to take care of the increased patient-load even if the fresh tally surge over 2,000 a day. Till Monday, about 6879 hospital beds with 152 intensive care units and 3,289 oxygen beds remain vacant in the medical facilities throughout the city. Irrespective of these statistics, the private sector is still facing a dearth of ICUs as more and more people prefer privatised treatment over moderated treatment costs. To bridge this gap, the BMC is preparing to add around 250 ICU beds in its jumbo facilities by this week and council patients to pursue treatment in the equally equipped government-run facilities.

Danger looms over Mumbai

A threat of increased transmission looms over the city as citizens exploit the relaxations awarded by the Unlock 4. The civic officials have seen an anomalous increase in the intra-district and inter-city movement with the imposition of Unlock 4. Mumbai has reported a towering statistic of 11,605 cases in a single week of the quadrant unlocking and this is being pinned on the diminished compliance to wear a mask by the ever-escalating population of people who are stepping out for work and recreation.

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Mumbai to get 150 more suburban train services from Monday

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.

Mumbai will get additional 150 suburban trains on the Western Railway (WR) which will ease the commuting travails for office goers and those in essential services permitted by the Maharashtra government, officials said in Mumbai on Sunday.

With this, the number of WR suburban services will shoot up from 350 to 500 daily, while the Central Railway is already running 355 services. This works out to 855 services daily - or barely one-third of the regular 2,300-plus suburban services that was the norm before the lockdown in March-end.

With the increase in services, the government permitted 10 per cent of key employees of private and cooperative banks to commute by local trains, in addition to essential staff of public sector banks, various government departments, aircraft maintenance staffers and lawyers who have been allowed so far.

The selected 10 per cent staff will require QR ID codes from the government which along with a valid identity card to commute after buying tickets/passes, said an official.

To avoid overcrowding and maintain physical distance, the WR and CR will open additional ticket booking counters at major stations on the suburban section which spans across Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad.

Presently, many office-goers, especially those from Thane, Palghar and Raigad who commute to their workplaces in Mumbai are forced to travel at least 6 hours daily owing to huge traffic snarls on main roads and the two highways serving the country's commercial capital.

Moreover, despite the restricted categories allowed to commute by local trains, there is overcrowding during the morning-evening peak hours making a sham of the physical distancing norms.

- With inputs from IANS

The State of Maharashtra has recorded recoveries that supersede the tally of fresh coronavirus cases. On Saturday, the state reported 20,519 new cases, 23,501 recoveries along with 425 fatalities. The statistics of Mumbai also improved with 5000+ recoveries.

What's the update?

Maharashtra has exhibited a positive recovery rate for 3 days in a row, growing from 70.90 per cent to 71.47 per cent. Besides this, the state mortality rate stands at 2.72 per cent as per the data analysis on Friday. The state has accumulated 425 new fatalities to the total tally of 32,216 COVID deaths. According to the reports, Maharashtra witnessed a death roughly every 3.2 minutes as a spike of 902 new cases was added every hour to the state tally Friday..

With this highest swell in single-day recoveries, the active case tally of the state plunged to negative, projecting the possibility of a quick revival against the virus. However, a disparity which was identified between the state and the capital in terms of statistics and numbers till Friday got dissolved on Saturday when Mumbai recorded 5105 recoveries. The deteriorating health graph of Mumbai notched more recoveries on Saturday unlike the rest of the week, along with the second-highest fatality count of 50, after Pune which recorded 55 deaths.

Other state districts have also recorded high death counts, namely Nagpur with 36 deaths, Satara with 26 and Thane at 37. Sangli reported 26 deaths.

Knock Knock

Besides Mumbai/Pune Circle, the state of Maharashtra has been successful in controlling and/or reducing the effects of coronavirus transmission and spread. For the Capital & Pune to attain a speedy recovery, the people and the state have to join forces and combat the growth and repercussions of the virus together.

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