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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