As India's third phase of Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown begins, Mumbai - which has been worst-hit by the pandemic, reported 510 new cases and 18 deaths, as per the BMC. The city's civic body has asked a private laboratory - Thyrocare to temporarily stop all private testing and only test BMC swabs, as per reports - due to which the additional private lab test results are missing from today's COVID tally. The city's current tally stands at 9123 with 361 deaths.
Moreover, BMC announced that existing isolation bed capacity will soon be increased from 3000 to 4750. From 255 fever clinics inside containment zones across Mumbai, BMC has screened 11591 people of which 853 people have tested positive. Earlier in the day, Mumbai's Deputy Mayor Hemangi Worlikar has tested positive for Coronavirus and has been admitted to Global hospital, as per sources.
In April, 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.
The BMC has set up 1459 containment zones throughout Mumbai, even though 321 zones were opened up as they had not reported any new case for past 14 days. 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 - recording 590 cases with 20 deaths. BMC is also going to distribute anti-malarial Hydroxychloroqune tablets among Dharavi residents. With the rise in cases, the government has not lifted the lockdown in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region till May 17 and CM Thackeray has reiterated that trains will not resume operations, but stand-alone liquor shops will open outside containment zones.