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Mumbai: As Covid numbers rise, health dept directs BMC to ramp up testing

Sources in BMC’s public health department said they have free testing centres across Mumbai, but the staffers start testing by 9am and finish by 2.30pm and this window is too narrow. Senior officers of the BMC have suggested that these testing hours be increased.

Written by Yogesh Naik | Mumbai |
Updated: January 7, 2022 12:52:32 am
mumbai covid casesHealthcare staffer collects swab for Covid testing in Nerul, Navi Mumbai. (Express Photo by Narendra Vaskar)

THE MAHARASHTRA health department has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ramp up testing for Covid-19, with the city reporting 20,181 fresh cases on Thursday.

“If Mumbai is getting 20,181 positive cases, then they should be conducting 2 lakh tests. The positivity rate must be around 10 per cent of tests conducted. But they are conducting only about 65,000 tests per day. We have told them that the number of tests must be increased immediately,’’ said a senior officer of the state health department.

While BMC additional commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani assured, “We will be increasing the tests,’’ he added that they will not be able to conduct 2 lakh tests daily. “The Centre has also said that the test 15 days after contracting Covid is not mandatory anymore. But we are increasing the number of tests.”

Sources in BMC’s public health department said they have free testing centres across Mumbai, but the staffers start testing by 9am and finish by 2.30pm and this window is too narrow. Senior officers of the BMC have suggested that these testing hours be increased.

Meanwhile, the state has decided to tie up with industries for oxygen facilities. In one of the meetings of think tanks, a senior bureaucrat said in the second wave, 16 per cent of patients required oxygen and, in this wave, eight per cent of patients require oxygen, but as the numbers are rising, the number of those getting hospitalised will also increase and the state will require the same quantity of oxygen as earlier.

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