Starting today, outstation travellers to be screened by Mumbai civic body
After the Maharashtra government’s decision to mandatorily test passengers coming from Delhi, the National Capital Region (NCR), Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which handles the city’s public health, will start screening outstation train passengers by spot testing for Covid-19 symptoms at major railway stations from Wednesday.Those showing symptoms will be tested using rapid antigen kits.
Passengers travelling on trains from these destinations by trains will have to produce a negative report, obtained 96 hours prior to journey on arrival. In case a passengers does not have a test report, they will be screened and tested using antigen kits, if found to be symptomatic.
If found positive, the travellers will be admitted to a Covid Care Centre but will have to bear the cost of treatment themselves.
BMC officials have informed all the wards to be on alert at major stations such as Borivli, Andheri, Bandra Terminus, Dadar, Mumbai Central, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT and Kurla where inbound outstation trains arrive.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “We already have screening camps at the airport and the train stations. We will also arrange for antigen kits testing at railway stations. However, passengers will also be referred to laboratories, in case of crowding at railway stations.”
Dr Siddarth Paliwal, a city-based general physician, said, “Screening all passengers will be a difficult task at railway stations, but I feel instead of going ahead with the antigen kits, we should aim for RT-PCR testing. As the chances of positivity are higher for RT-PCR, we will be able to detect maximum cases.”
In view of the rising Covid-19 cases, the Maharashtra government on Monday also announced certain restrictions and guidelines for all the citizens to follow. As per the guidelines, passengers travelling on flights from Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat will have to produce a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) report on landing at airports in Maharashtra. The test should have been done 72 hours prior to the scheduled journey.
Meanwhile, BMC on Monday also wrote to Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) requesting it to follow the protocols issued by the state government. The guidelines issued by state government on air travel include a person having a negative RT-PCR test result in the last 72 hours. If travellers do not have report, they can also opt for spot testing.
Further, people travelling by road to Maharashtra will have to undergo screening at the check posts on borders. Those found with symptoms will have to undergo an antigen test.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the city reported 939 cases, taking its tally to 277,453. The toll has reached 10,708 after by 19 deaths were reported in Mumbai on Tuesday . A total of 252,688 patients have been discharged after Covid-19 treatment in the city, taking the recovery rate to 91.07%. There are 13,265 active cases in Mumbai and the fatality rate is 3.85%. One hot spot that has shown signs of drastic improvement – Dharavi – recorded only two Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, after which its tally reached 3,656. Of these, 3,331 people have been discharged.Mumbai has so far conducted 17.85 lakh tests and has a positivity rate of 15.44%.