Updated: May 4, 2021 7:03:25 am
Municipal commissioner IS Chahal on Monday urged Mumbai residents to come forward to get themselves tested for Covid-19 even as he defended the recent dip in the city’s testing figure, which has come under attack from the Opposition.
Chahal said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will increase the daily testing to up to 40,000 tests a day. In the last couple of weeks, Mumbai has seen around 25-30,000 tests a day, a significant drop in comparison with the first half of April, which saw more than 40,000 tests per day. On April 13, as many as 56,000 tests were conducted in the city.
Emphasising on the overall testing rate in April, Chahal said, “Our average daily testing in the month of April, 2021 was nearly 44,000 per day. (In comparison) From March, 2020 to February 10, 2021, the highest single-day testing stood at 24,500.”
He added, “It has been observed that the testing figures have fallen in the last few days from 50,000+to 38,000 the day before (Saturday) and 28,000 (Sunday).”
Chahal said that the number of tests may have decreased as people are themselves not getting tested. “Our aggressive testing policy has resulted in a reduction of positivity rate. This might have reduced the natural demand for home collection of swabs by our citizens in the last few days,” he said.
In April, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis had written to CM Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Mumbai’s Covid-19 numbers were decreasing because the BMC had lowered the daily testing. Another BJP MLA, Nitesh Rane, had also slammed the corporation for bringing down the number of daily tests.
Over the last couple of weeks, Mumbai has been observing a dip in daily Covid-19 cases after witnessing as many as 11,000 new cases in a single day on April 13. On Sunday, Mumbai recorded 3,672 new cases.
The BMC said it will increase the number of tests in the city. “It has been the consistent policy of BMC to do maximum testing…We need to increase the testing to 40,000 per day, at least, if not more. I request citizens to come forward and get themselves tested,” Chahal said.
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