BMC may resort to aggressive testing policy


Commissioner hopes more tests will lead to reduction in positivity rate in Mumbai

Even as the daily COVID-19 cases in Mumbai are on the decline, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants to increase the number of tests hoping that an aggressive testing policy will lead to reduction in the positivity rate.

As per the data from the BMC, the number of tests in the city has dipped from over 50,000 to 38,000 and even to around 28,000.

On May 3, the civic body conducted only 23,542 tests of which 2,662 were positive. While on May 2, a total of 28,636 tests were conducted, the figure was 37,607 for May 1. Around 43,525 and 38,848 samples were tested on April 30 and 29, respectively. On April 28, around 39,135 tests were conducted while on April 27 and 26, around 30,428 and 28,328 samples were tested, respectively, as normally observed on weekends.

According to BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, the number of tests in a single day had gone beyond 50,000 in April. “Our aggressive testing policy has resulted in reduction in the positivity rate. We need to increase the testing to 40,000 a day, if not more,” he said, appealing to citizens to come forward and test themselves for the virus.

In the last few days, Mumbai has witnessed a drop in the test positivity rate (TPR) with the Opposition attributing it to low testing. On May 2 and 1, the TPR was 7.79% and 9.62%, respectively. Throughout the last week of April, the city has maintained the TPR in the range of 12% to 9%.

According to experts, even though the cases may appear to have plateaued, restrictions should not be lifted, and strict health guidelines needed to be followed until mass vaccination was completed.

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