BMC to start random antigen testing at Mumbai malls as cases rise

Published on Mar 19, 2021 01:52 PM IST

There will be swab collection facilities at malls, crowded areas starting from next week, the BMC has ruled.

The move is aimed at increasing the number of tests.(REUTERS)
The move is aimed at increasing the number of tests.(REUTERS)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday decided to start random sampling at crowded places in the city, including malls and markets. According to reports, this new rule will come into effect from March 22, next Monday. The restriction has been announced a day after the city recorded the highest-ever single-day spike with 2,877 fresh cases on Thursday. With 17,153 active cases, the Mumbai district now has the third-highest number of active infections in the country.

While several districts of Maharashtra have brought back night curfews, local restrictions, there has been no decision on imposing similar curbs in Mumbai.

Mumbai currently has 34 active containment zones and 267 buildings sealed. The authorities have also revealed that the maximum of the new infections reported in the last two months has been from apartments. Between March 17 and 18, the BMC authorities traced 14,979 high-risk contacts, its latest bulletin said. The civic authorities are also penalising night clubs, wedding hall authorities, individuals for flouting rules.

As about 95 per cent of the new cases in Maharashtra are asymptomatic, testing and tracking are most important to contain the spread of the infection, the state government said. On Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a virtual meeting with divisional commissioners and asked them to ensure that restrictions are not being violated.

What are the news rules in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation areas?

> No religious/cultural/political gathering allowed

> Cinemas (single screen/multiplex) and hotels to operate at 50% capacity

> 50 people allowed for weddings & 20 for funerals

> All offices, except health & essential, to operate at 50% - work from home advised.

> Residential buildings with more than five active Covid-19 patients will be sealed.

> Compulsory 7-day institutional quarantine for travellers coming to Mumbai from Brazil.

> Hands of citizens instructed to quarantine at home will be stamped.

> Marshals appointed to take action against those travelling in local trains without masks.

> Regular inspection at halls, wedding venues.

> Citizens flouting these rules will be fined, prosecuted.

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