Mumbai News

Mumbai: Starting today, free testing for Covid-19 at 244 centres – Times of India

MUMBAI: The BMC will provide free testing for Covid-19 at 244 more locations across the city from Monday. Citizens can call up the local ward war room or 1916. Alternatively, they can also check online for details of the nearest testing centre.
This will take the number of free testing centres in the city to over 300. Initially this facility will be available on a walk-in basis from 10 am to noon in various civic dispensaries and hospitals in all 24 civic wards. Each ward is expected to have about 10 centres to enable easy access to testing.
This is in addition to the nearly 54 private laboratories that currently offer Covid-19 tests, including home services.
Testing facilities are being ramped up to ensure timely detection and treatment as the ongoing festive season is seen as a super-spreader. There was a spike in cases after the Ganesh festival and with further easing of lockdown, including more people being allowed to travel by suburban trains, there is fear of a second peak.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner (health), BMC, said November and December are crucial months on account of Diwali and winter. “World over there is a warning of a surge in cases on account of winter. We do not have a severe winter, but we need to be careful. None of the Covid centres will be shut down for the next two months. With December being holiday season as well, we want to ensure we are prepared,” he said.
Dr Shashank Joshi, member of the state task force for Covid-19, said there has neither been a drastic increase in deaths in Mumbai nor a drastic decline in positive cases. “This has led to a complaint that Mumbai has not tested adequately. The BMC is now implementing the Korean/Chinese model of testing kiosks everywhere which is a very valid approach,” he said, adding this may also help break the fear and stigma associated with the disease and encourage citizens to get tested.
Dr Joshi said the city will also witness reverse migrations. “People will be coming from colder regions of the country which makes Mumbai more vulnerable,” he said.
The BMC in a press release said at some places it will provide for RT-PCR tests, while antigen tests will be offered at other locations.