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Friday, April 16, 2021

Mumbai: BMC issues circular for antigen test at malls, stations, tourist places

Officials said refusal to test will attract action under the Epidemic Act, 1897.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: March 20, 2021 9:31:03 pm
Mumbai Covid-19 testA healthcare workers collects nasal sample for Covid-19 test, at Dadar station in Mumbai on Saturday. (PTI)

In view of rising Covid-19 cases, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday issued a circular on conducting random Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) at crowded places like malls, railway stations, state transport bus depots, tourist places and markets.

The guidelines, issued by Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, said the civic body has set a target of testing 47,800 people daily at these places.

According to the circular, while visitors at malls will have to pay charges themselves for the tests, in other places, the BMC will conduct free tests. Officials said refusal to test will attract action under the Epidemic Act, 1897. A test will cost Rs 250.

As per the BMC, antigen tests will be conducted at 27 malls, nine railway stations and four bus depots. Major shopping hubs like CR-2 Mall in Nariman Point, Sobo Central Malls at Tardeo, Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel, Atria Mall in Worli, Infinity Mall in Andheri, Oberoi Mall at Goregaon, Phoenix Mall at Kurla and R City Mall in Ghatkopar will see random tests. At 27 malls, the target is to conduct 10,800 tests daily.

Similarly, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Mumbai Central will run random testing camps, organised by the BMC, with the target of 9,000 tests daily.

The state transport bus depots – Mumbai Central, Parel, Borivali and Kurla – will have to conduct 4,000 tests daily. Along with these places, 24,000 tests will be conducted in tourist places, khau gallis, market areas, beaches, government offices and restaurants every day.

Mumbai is witnessing a surge in daily Covid-19 cases. On Friday, it recorded an all-time high of 3,062 cases. The city’s doubling rate has come down to 124 days. The civic body is ramping up its jumbo covid facilities and directed private facilities to keep beds ready, anticipating daily surge in cases.

“The rapid antigen tests will give results in 10 to 20 minutes. If a person tests positive, then he or she will be taken to civic isolation centres,” said Manish Valunje, assistant municipal commissioner, L ward (Kurla).

In all, Mumbai has recorded 3.55 lakh Covid-19 cases. The active cases in the city have also crossed 20,000.

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