Mumbai News

In another letter to Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis questions Mumbai’s Covid testing strategy – Hindustan Times

Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, on Wednesday sent yet another letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, asking him to increase the number of Covid-19 tests being carried out in Mumbai. The former chief minister has penned more than 10 such letters over the last five months, asking Thackeray to up the number of tests to get the real picture of the spread of infection in the metropolis.

Fadnavis said that while the state has upped the number of tests done in the last month– from July to August– by 42 per cent, in Mumbai, the increase was only 14 per cent.

“In July, 6,574 tests were carried out every day in Mumbai, which increased to 7,709 tests daily in August, an increase of only 14 percent. As a result of this, we see fewer cases being recorded in the city now. In Maharashtra, the tests were increased from 37,528 per day in July to 64,801 per day in August, which is a hike of 42 per cent,’’ stated the letter.

The former chief minister pointed out that the state contributes to nearly 21 per cent of the new coronavirus cases in the country and around 38 per cent of the Covid-19 mortalities.

The average case positivity rate in Maharashtra is 18.44 per cent and 13.64 per cent in Mumbai, higher than the national average of 8.57 per cent.

Fadnavis, who recently returned from a tour of Western Maharashtra, also asked Thackeray to look into certain issues pertaining to the region including a lack of sufficient hospital beds in a district like Satara and poor implementation of the Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojana.

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“In Satara, the rate of Covid-19 infection is 22 per cent and there aren’t enough hospital beds for the patients. The state had promised free medical treatment under MPJAY but hospitals are not getting paid as a result of which patients and their families have been burdened by hefty bills,’’ said Fadnavis.

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“We are increasing our testing capacity in Mumbai by adding a significant number of antigen tests along with RT PCR tests. In Mumbai, we are witnessing a steady plateauing of new cases, though there may be a small spike as we add more relaxations to the lockdown. Our numbers are not low because we are testing less,’’ said a senior civic official, who did not want to be named.