Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, experts including the World Health Organization, have touted testing as one of the most efficient ways to fight against the virus.
While at large India has been consistently increasing the number of tests and recently crossed one crore figure, the second-worst affected city in the country, Mumbai, is still failing at ramping up testing.
The financial capital of India is now behind Delhi in the number of tests done but the city's civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), continues to claim that the doubling rate of coronavirus cases in Mumbai is continuously improving.
Data reveals that in the month of June, Mumbai recorded only 4,237 tests every day on an average, while Delhi recorded 9,873 tests on 5 July.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, however, has claimed that Delhi is testing about 20,000-24,000 samples every day.
What Do Numbers Say?
On 1 June, Mumbai had recorded 2,01,507 tests and on 30 June, this number reached only up to 3,33,752. This shows that in the month of June, there were just 1,32,245 tests done.
Low testing in Mumbai has continued in July as well. Between 5-6 July, Mumbai recorded only 4,510 tests.
Speaking to The Quint, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal, while agreeing that Mumabi is testing less, said:
"“According to our new order, now there will be no need for a prescription for testing. That is, every person who is suspected of having COVID-19, will be tested. Instructions have been given to all labs and hospitals for this."" - Mumbai Testing Lower Than Its Actual Capacity
According to sources, Mumbai has the capacity of testing 10,000-12,000 samples every day. It's not, however, clear why Mumbai is not implementing the high testing model.
An official of BMC said that private labs are able to give a report of only 5,000 tests in 24 hours. He also informed that BMC has been advising to increase the speed of testing rapidly.
Thane Overtakes Mumbai in Number of Active Cases
In Maharashtra, the figure of coronavirus infected patients has crossed 2 lakh. Mumbai was the most affected city in Maharashtra earlier, but now Thane has left Mumbai behind in the number of active coronavirus cases. There are more than 28,000 active cases in Thane city, while there are 23,000 active cases in Mumbai.
A total of 47,935 COVID-19 cases have been registered in Thane district, of these 18,156 people have been cured so far, while 1,270 people have died.
Opposition Raises Questions
Leader of Opposition and former CM Devendra Fadnavis has written a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray saying, "To fight the coronavirus outbreak, the most important thing is testing. If more tests are done, the disease can be detected early and the risk of spreading the infection can also be reduced. Along with this, more testing in Mumbai can go a long way in reducing mortality.”
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