Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) The number of daily COVID-19 tests in Mumbai needs to be increased to at least 40,000, municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said on Monday.
He said the number of tests being conducted per day fell from over 50,000 earlier to 38,000 on May 1 and further to 28,000 on May 2.
Chahal said this number could fall further on weekends.
'We need to increase the testing to 40,000 per day at least, if not more,' Chahal said in a message and appealed to the people to come forward for testing.
He said the BMC has been consistently conducting maximum tests to 'flush out coronavirus from Mumbai's environment'.
During the first wave of the pandemic, the highest single-day testing figure for Mumbai was 24,500 between March 1, 2020, and February 10, 2021, he said.
'During the second wave, testing in the city has more than doubled and touched 56,000 a day last month. Our average daily testing in April was nearly 44,000 per day,' Chahal added.
The municipal commissioner had last week said the COVID-19 test positivity rate in Mumbai had dropped below 10 per cent to 9.94 per cent on April 29, when 4,328 people tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 43,525 samples that were examined.
On Monday, he attributed the fall in the positivity rate to the aggressive testing policy being adopted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
'This (BMC's testing policy) might have reduced the natural demand for home collection of swabs from our citizens in the last few days,' Chahal said.
The test positivity rate (TPR) is defined as the proportion of samples that return positive among the total tested.
As per the BMC's data, a total of 54,90,241 tests have been conducted so far in Mumbai.
Mumbai's overall infection tally stood at 6,56,204 as of May 2 and the death toll 13,330, as per the civic body.
There are 57,342 active patients in the Maharashtra capital as of Sunday. PTI KK NSK NSK