Travel protocols revised in Mumbai, in view of COVID-19 rise in India.
Mumbai reported about 1,035 fresh cases on Friday, exceeding the 1,000 case mark for the third day in succession here. Parallel to this rapid case surge, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has also increased testing capacities to conduct about 18,000 - 22,000 tests a day. In comparison to January's test count at 11,000 - 15,000, the civic authority has managed to stabilise the case positivity ration despite the active spread here.
Coronavirus infection accelerates in Mumbai
Earlier, Mumbai reported such high COVID-19 tallies in November after which the infection graph witnessed a downward slope. However, with this new advent in the transmission rate, the city has come under the clutches of the pandemic, once again. Friday's soaring case count also marked the highest spike of 4 months in the Dharavi slum. The number of new cases reached the threshold of 16 infections marking the highest daily rises since October, stated BMC officials.
However, civic officials have confirmed that despite the high rate of COVID transmission, Mumbai's case positivity ratio ranges between 3-5%. This states that the new infections are a result of increased coronavirus testing and that the count of infected patients is under control.
COVID situation in control, so far
The health department of the BMC issues the count of fresh cases and the positivity rate, daily. While positivity rate simply implies all those who tested positive upon the COVID-19 test, the calculations also include the count of people who test positive for the second time (mandatory testing required before discharge). Therefore, if a person tests positive for the first time, his name is accounted for a fresh tally.
On the other hand, if the person tests positive for the second time also, their details are updated on the ICMR portal and is not included in the daily rise. Therefore, when the BMC calculates the positivity rate, it takes a margin of about 1% approximately. Presently, the overall positivity rate stands at 10%, which the daily count ranges at a lower 4.6%, roughly. This, along with a 93.7% recuperation rate and 2.4% case fatality ration, Mumbai's overall health index has witnessed a marginal effect, as opposed to the adverse possibility painted by the higher case count.
Revised travel protocol in view of COVID-19 rise in India
With the emergence of two new COVID strains, a revised travel protocol has been put in place for people reaching Mumbai. The state has made it compulsory for all passengers from Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Kerala to produce a negative RT-PCR report on arrival. This test can be dated up to 72 hours before the travel. Those without a COVID-19 report will have to undergo a test at the airport itself, at their own cost. The RT-PCR testing facilities have been established at Level 10 - departures area for all arriving and departing domestic travellers.
A test here will cost the passengers ₹850 and the results will be furnished in 24-48 hours for arriving passengers and in 8-10 hours for those departing. The test reports will be conveyed by electronic mail. All passengers arriving in Mumbai and getting their test done will not be required to stay at the airport. Instead, an undertaking will be signed binding them isolation.
Those travelling via Mumbai will be allowed to travel further only if their tests yield negative reports. In case a passenger is tested positive, they shall be shifted to quarantine centres in Mumbai. All asymptomatic travellers will have to quarantine for 14 days and the limit will be reduced to half, i.e. 7 days, if it is a returning or onward journey. For this, all travellers need to show their return/onward ticket at the thermal screening booths.