Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)

City crosses 4 lakh tests: BMC data

COVID FIGHT 23.37% samples positive till Monday; city records 954 fresh cases on Tuesday to take case count to 95,100

- Mehul R Thakkar mehul.thakkar@htlive.com SATYABRATA TRIPATHY/HT

MUMBAI: Even as the city inches towards the 1-lakh-cases mark, the number of tests in the city crossed 4 lakh on Tuesday, according to data from the Brihanmumb­ai Municipal Corporatio­n (BMC).

Until July 13, 401,741 samples have been tested, of which 93,894 samples (23.37%) have tested positive. The average testing figure has gone up to over 5,200 tests daily in the first 13 days of July. On Tuesday, Mumbai recorded 954 fresh cases and 70 deaths, taking the city’s case count to 95,100 and toll to 5,405.

The number of discharged patients is 66,633, with a recovery rate of 70%. The number of active cases is 22,773 as of Tuesday; the fatality rate was 5.68% as of Sunday. The city’s doubling rate is 52 days.

In May, the average of daily tests was 3,800, which went up to 4,300 in June, and 5,000 till a week ago.

The daily average now stands at 5,200 tests. The figure includes both, testing using RT-PCR and rapid antigen kits. BMC said it was also using one lakh rapid antigen kits that give results in 30 minutes to increase the testing. BMC also claimed its liberalise­d testing policy has made it easy for anyone to get tested.

BMC in a circular issued on July 7 had said any person who thinks he was in close contact with a patient who tested positive and is a high-risk contact can get tested without a prescripti­on, irrespecti­ve of the age.

The civic body had also asked ward officers in the western suburbs to use antigen kits to conduct at least 250 tests daily. BMC had anticipate­d a spike owing to this, but expected a clear picture by the end of the month. Municipal commission­er Iqbal Singh Chahal had on Monday said, “Our doubling rate is 50 days now, highest in India. Our recovery rate is 70%. After our open testing policy (without prescripti­ons, the only city in India to do so), our testing has gone up and our total daily positives have come down.”

However, Mumbai’s testing figure is lower than Delhi which has conducted over 7.89 lakh tests.

As of July 12, Tamil Nadu has conducted 16.09 lakh tests, Maharashtr­a 13.45 lakh, Rajasthan 10.54 lakh, Kerala 3.47 lakh and Bengaluru 1.75 lakh.

A senior doctor from Maharashtr­a’s Covid-19 taskforce not wishing to be named said, “There was a narrative that we are not having cases because we are not allowing testing. However, for one week now, we have allowed anyone to get tested without a prescripti­on. With this, the number of tests will definitely go up, but we will have to wait till month-end to know its effect in terms of figures.”

Siddarth Paliwal, a city-based private health consultant, said, “As the testing is open to all now, we can’t blame the authoritie­s for insufficie­nt testing. The daily testing number will take time to rise as many may not be in the frame of mind to get a test done. BMC should also publicise the liberalise­d testing policy.”

 ??  ?? A healthcare staffer checks the temperatur­e of a resident at Malad on Tuesday.
A healthcare staffer checks the temperatur­e of a resident at Malad on Tuesday.

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