Passengers undergo antigen testing on arrival in Kalyan.(Rishikesh Choudhary/HT)
Passengers undergo antigen testing on arrival in Kalyan.(Rishikesh Choudhary/HT)

Covid cases rise, no tests yet at Thane entry points

Authorities say they are better prepared for second wave; no need for facilities as testing done at state’s entry points
By Ankita G Menon, Thane
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2020 12:53 AM IST

Like the twin cities of Kalyan-Dombivli, Thane city, too, has seen a gradual increase in the number of Covid-19 cases since the start of the week.

Though the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has claimed to be ready for the second wave, no arrangements have been made yet at the city’s entry and exit to test people travelling by road from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa.

As per the state guidelines, travellers from these three states need to be screened at the railway stations, bus stops and city entry points. The corporation, though, has been testing outstation passengers at railway stations for more than two months, there is no system yet in place to test those travelling by road.

An officer from TMC requesting anonymity said, “We have been testing all the outstation passengers at Thane station for the last couple of months. The details and symptoms, if any, of the passengers are noted. Even if their test result is negative, our team keeps a tab on those passengers with symptoms after a few days. We have set up testing counters in both east and west sides of the Thane station so that no passenger leaves the station without being tested.”

The testing at the city’s entry points was done earlier when the cases were high. The corporation is now formulating a system for the same.

TMC will not be testing at city entry points as of now. Dr Raju Murudkar, medical health officer, TMC, said, “We have taken a decision to not have testing at city entry points as of now. The situation is well under control and doing this would just add to the pressure. It will also increase traffic at these points on a daily basis as we will have to make provisions for ambulances to park here as well. Instead, we have asked all assistant municipal commissioners to be alert and identify travellers and regular commuters within their wards.”

On the other hand, the corporation had initiated testing centres during the night at railway stations. However, hardly 0.4 per cent tested positive throughout November. Covid testing at night began on November 1 at Thane railway station. Till now, around 8,275 antigen tests have been conducted, out of which 33 tested positive.

“The possibility of passengers arriving at night getting infected and being the cause for the virus to spread led us to conduct testing at night as well. However, hardly 0.4 per cent has turned positive throughout the month during testing at night. This clearly shows that the situation is under control in the city,” said Sandeep Malvi, TMC deputy civic chief.

Meanwhile, Thane city has a total of 50,545 cases while the death toll has reached 1,183. Currently, there are 1,588 active cases in the city and the doubling days are at 244.

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