Coronavirus Mumbai: Rapid antigen kits may push up COVID-19 cases

Sakal Times News Desk
Saturday, 11 July 2020

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is predicting a surge in positive cases for the coronavirus in the coming days

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is predicting a surge in positive cases for the coronavirus in the coming days. It has been using one lakh rapid antigen kits which give test results within 30 minutes and help in accelerating the number of daily tests being conducted.

A total of 3.79 lakh tests have been conducted in the city so far, out of which 23.39 per cent have turned out to be positive cases, stated BMC. The BMC has been increasing the number of daily tests throughout the last few months. 3,800 tests were conducted on a daily-average in May. This number was added by 500 more daily tests, pushing the average up to 4,300 tests in a day, throughout June. The daily testing rates have now gone up to 5,000 a day with assistance from both RT-PCR and rapid antigen testing.

However, the city saw a rapid surge in the number of positive cases in the last week of May where an average of 1,000 to 1,500 people tested positive for the virus daily. On Friday, the city recorded 1,337 new cases and 73 fatalities. A total of 90,461 cases have been recorded in Mumbai so far.

The BMC stated on July 7 that anyone in close contact with a COVID-positive patient stands a high chance to be contaminated too and they can get tested irrespective of their age. BMC has also requested the ward officers to conduct 250 tests in the suburban areas on a daily basis, in order to combat the virus.

As of Saturday, the BMC has tested 2,000 samples using rapid antigen kits and 5 per cent of the samples turned out to be positive. These kits are mostly being used in the suburban areas of Mumbai which lacks proper sanitation and is heavily populated too.

61,934 people in Mumbai have so far recovered from the infections caused due to the virus till date. Active cases remain at 23,305. The fatality rate is 5.75 per cent, as opposed to 68.46 per cent recovery rate. Dharavi, which is the largest slum in Asia, has improved majorly in the past few days. Being one of the biggest hot spots in Mumbai with the most number of positive cases, it recorded only 12 new cases on Friday, bringing the total case count to 2,359.

Kishori Pednekar, the Mayor of Mumbai visited Sion hospital where COVID-19 patients are being treated, in order to talk to the patients. She also asked the patients to donate blood plasma for research purposes, which will help in saving lives.

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