In a major development, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, on Monday has home quarantine herself after over 50 journalists in Mumbai have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), as per sources. Pednekar will reportedly oversee her duties from her home and is most likely to get tested this week. Mumbai's current tally stands at 2985 with 131 deaths.
Sources state that 53 journalists - including videographers, reporters, photojournalists and cameramen of a TV news channel have tested positive for Coronavirus. Pednekar is said to have been in contact with several of these journalists. BMC has tested 167 journalists, of which 53 have tested positive. Apart from these journalists, two BMC employees posted in the Disaster Management Department of BMC have tested positive - both are asymptomatic and have been kept in the isolation ward in the BMC ward.
On Wednesday, BMC revised COVID-19 testing criteria, differing from the ICMR guidelines to 'avoid unnecessary testing of asymptomatic persons'. The new guidelines exclude asymptomatic high-risk persons from testing but quarantines them. Swabs will be taken only if the asymptomatic person develops symptoms within the 14 days of quarantine. Moreover, high-risk contacts may be tested on the between 5th & 14th day of quarantine after 'careful observation', states the BMC - inspite CM Thackeray claiming 70 to 75% of the patients had very mild or no symptoms.
BMC has set up 438 containment zones throughout Mumbai since the rise in the number of cases. With over 1 million people living in five square kilometer area, Dharavi is Mumbai's most densely populated area and has been under severe scrutiny. As Dharavi's case tally touches 168 with 11 deaths, BMC has started screening all 7.5 lakh residents of Asia's biggest slum. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope has stated that the growth rate of the virus is slowing in the state, which has now been echoed by the Centre too.