January 6, 2022 1:13:53 am
ALL RESIDENTS of sealed buildings will have to undergo compulsory rapid antigen test (RAT) for detection of Covid-19 in K-west ward, comprising the western suburb of Andheri (west), in a first such decision by the civic body in the city. Strict action will be taken against the residents who refuse to undergo the test, reads a letter issued by the ward office on Tuesday.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, K-West has been a hotspot with the highest number of infections. Till Tuesday, the ward had recorded 63,716 Covid-19 cases. With the advent of the third wave, cases are again gradually increasing in the ward. Nearly 90% of the latest cases have been recorded from high-rise buildings. Until now, 1,049 floors have been sealed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the highest among all wards.
The ward has declared that all the other residents of the building will have to undergo RAT tests.
“Rapid Antigen test will be conducted for the other remaining residents of the building. We will be providing a dedicated team for testing in each such contained building according to the new cases found in the particular building as required,” reads the letter issued to all building secretaries and chairpersons.
The letter also mentions taking action if the residents refuse to comply with the instructions . “Also realizing situation if any residents (High and low risk contacts) refused to do the testing, strict actions such as containment of floor/Scaling of Building will not be removed until all high and low risk contacts are tested for Covid-19 or the mandatory 14 days of quarantine period is completed,” stated the letter.
The existing guidelines required all high-risk contacts of the infected patients to get tested on the fifth and seventh day of home quarantine. Along with this, people residing one floor above and one floor below the patient were also to be tested.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Ajit Pampatwar, Medical Officer for Health, K-West ward, said, “We are witnessing a huge surge in cluster infections. If a floor is reporting one case, then it is spreading to other floors. So, we have decided to test all the residents to break the chain of transmission.”
He added: “But it is not a compulsion, (just) an appeal for the untested residents to undergo the RAT test.”
Earlier on Monday, the BMC guidelines had stated that a building or a wing of a housing complex will be sealed only after more than 20 per cent of residents in occupied flats were infected with Covid-19.
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