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Coronavirus in Mumbai: BMC to now test food delivery executives

11:03 PM Nov 26, 2020 | Pratip Acharya

In an attempt to fast-track contact tracing, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will test delivery executives of food and retail aggregators in Mumbai.
Delivery executives of online aggregators stated they have been instructed by their organisations to leave the parcel in the building lobby. However, in many buildings, their clients continue to insist on doorstep delivery.
"Customers are the ones who persuade us to go upstairs. Our instructions are to leave the packages with security guards and watchmen. We are compelled to do as the customer says or else risk a bad rating or face complaints," said a delivery executive.
Currently, BMC health officials have started testing passengers at major railway stations and have set up Covid testing camps at various marketplaces and industrial estates.
"We have already tested some delivery executives of Swiggy, Zomato and similar food and retail aggregators and are in talks with the main organisations so that we can launch full-scale testing of these executives," Assistant Municipal Commissioner - (G North) Kiran Dighavkar told The Free Press Journal.
Further, he observed, now that most cases had moved to the high-rises from slums, there is increased testing in the ward so that asymptomatic patients could be detected at the earliest, to arrest further spread.
"Camps are being set up at public places and markets. People have begun coming out on roads now and these tests are free, so every day, we are testing as many people as we can," Dighavkar added.
So far in November, the entire G North ward (Dharavi, Mahim and Dadar) has reported 568 cases, of which 78 per cent of the cases were reported from Mahim and Dadar while Dharavi had reported only 122 cases. On most days, Dharavi has been reporting cases in single digits.
"Now residential buildings and gated societies are also letting people in. As a result, delivery executives of retail aggregators are dropping off parcels at your doorstep, which is a risk factor now," said a civic health official.
BMC data showed that last week, 523 people were tested at camps were set up in 16 public locations and only nine persons were detected positive.
"The positivity rate in Mumbai has dropped. However, it can rise suddenly if preventive measures are not followed. People who are asymptomatic can also be carriers and large-scale testing at public places is helping us track them," the official added. ReplyForward

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