In a significant landmark, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has achieved a doubling-rate of 50 days for COVID-19 cases, a top official said on Monday. This was possible because of the civic body’s ‘open testing policy’, implying tests without prescriptions, making it the only city in the country to implement it.
“After the open testing policy, our testing has gone up from 4,000 to 6,800, daily. But the total positive cases have come down from 1,400 to 1,200 now,” said BMC Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal
Of these 1,200 positive cases, the symptomatic cases are less than 200, so the BMC needs only 200 beds daily, the civic chief said.
“A doubling rate of 50 days means Mumbai can think of further reducing the lockdown rules,” said a doctor. From 11 days in the first week of May to 50 days is a big achievement as far as public health department’s containment measures are concerned, the doctor added.
Dr Shashank Joshi, who is a member of the state task force on Covid-19, said, “If the effective reproduction number ‘R’ for Covid-19 reaches one, and the doubling rate crosses 45 days, it paves the way for a smarter unlocking for Mumbai.” He said the city cannot go for complete relaxation as it could lead to a surge in cases.
The BMC’s discharge rate now stands at 70 per cent, and on Sunday, after allotting beds to all patients, there were still 7,000 Covid-19 beds plus 250 ICU beds lying vacant, said Mr Chahal.
For this achievement, Mr Chahal gave the credit to the entire ‘Team BMC’ where — despite losing a little over 100 officials to the virus — civic officials and other Corona warriors are engaged 24x7 in controlling the pandemic for over four months.