MUMBAI: The BMC will launch a rapid action plan on Monday to control the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases in the suburbs. The case doubling rate in wards like R-Central (Borivli lies in it) is 18 days compared to the 34-day average for the city. In R-North (Dahisar is in it), the doubling rate is even worse: 16 days. The BMC will bring on board around 50 ambulances that would be donated by an NGO. These will visit high-risk localities for swab testing.
Deputy municipal commissioner Vishwas Shankarwar said screening would be held in particular containment areas in the coming days. “As and when doctors suggest that a particular person with symptoms needs to be tested, swab would be collected,” he said. “Many of the recent cases are of patients who were admitted in hospitals for other ailments and had to be tested for Covid-19 as well. Considering that their immunity was already low, these patients were found infected with Covid-19.”
In Dahisar and Borivli, the BMC has planned door-to-door screenings, especially in residential localities for early detection. In certain areas where the numbers are rising rapidly, a complete lockdown has been proposed not just in the area proper, but also a buffer zone, where nothing except for essential shops would stay open. Officials said that the police had suggested a similar lockdown of containment zones. In areas like Andheri in the western suburbs, where aggressive house-to-house screening in certain pockets has already begun, MLA Ameet Satam said that over the last week, the ward has screened residents of 120 buildings as well as over 200 hawkers and staff of grocery stores. “All buildings are also advised to have a screening counter at their entrance with a thermometer and an oximeter to screen all external persons entering the building,” he said.
BMC has okayed a lockdown in areas at Dindoshi in Malad, said additional commissioner Dilip Sawant. Police patrolling was carried out at Santosh Nagar and at Borivli’s Shastri Nagar, a containment zone, on Saturday. People were asked to stay indoors and follow lockdown guidelines.
(With inputs from Nitasha Natu)

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