On Saturday, BJP slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its failure in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus in Mumbai. In a letter written to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, BJP MLA Ameet Satam claimed that BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi had made "disastrous decisions" which had no explanation. Maintaining that the frequent change in testing norms was extremely shocking, Satam observed that the latest norms of testing were not in line with the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
According to him, the BMC's move would ensure a "false reduction" in numbers and the further spread of COVID-19 even after the end of the lockdown period. He also contended that the decision of allocating beds for COVID-19 patients had boomeranged on the administration and resulted in the reduction of beds for other patients. The BJP MLA urged the CM to make the Chief Secretary responsible for all decisions of the BMC and instruct him to keep a close eye on the civic body's functioning.
In his letter, the decision to allow vegetable markets at BMC grounds and gardens also drew flak. Additionally, Satam questioned the civic body's notice banning sanitization after initially coming up with norms regarding this. Mentioning the case of a patient from Juhu who was made to wait for more than 10 hours before being admitted at the Trauma Care Centre in Jogeshwari, he accused the BMC staff of pressurizing the aforesaid patient to lie about his experience.
Only 77 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Mumbai on Friday, a sharp decline from the 177 positive cases recorded on Thursday. This is being attributed to a change in the BMC's testing protocol whereby asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 patients will not be tested. However, BMC's own data shows that at least 65% to 70% of coronavirus cases in Mumbai till now have been asymptomatic. The civic body's rationale behind the latest testing norms is to focus the testing on those persons who need it the most. It explained that testing on close contacts of a COVID-19 patient shall be carried out between the 5th and 14th day as per the ICMR guidelines to reduce false negatives.
#AnythingForMumbai#StrongerTogether#KnowledgeIsPower— à¤®à¤¾à¤à¥ Mumbai, à¤à¤ªà¤²à¥ BMC (@mybmc) April 16, 2020
*ï¸â£More tests are good
*ï¸â£Adherence to guidelines is key
*ï¸â£Timing of test has to be right
*ï¸â£Proactive measures help
#ProudToProtect#BlessedToServe#NaToCorona https://t.co/z649IK9kUr pic.twitter.com/hh1npRUrjn