Anticipating a rise in the number cases of the Omicron variant in the city, the BMC has directed all ward officers to increase testing and keep a close check on those detected with the variant. Currently, the civic body is conducting nearly 40,000 tests, which will be increased to 45,000-50,000.
Officials said all ward officers are collating data of international travellers and their close contacts. So far, 20 fliers have tested positive and Omicron has been detected in three. As per statistics, in the last seven days 2,11,027 Covid tests have been conducted across the city, which means 30,146 individuals are being tested every day.
Additional municipal commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani said testing had reduced as there was a drop in daily cases. He said now the time up to December 31 is crucial. “The first phase includes the impact of the spread due to relaxations and international fliers, who are being screened for the new variant.
In the second phase, Christmas and New Year celebrations will need to be monitored. There is a possibility of international traffic in Mumbai from western countries as they have long holidays for Christmas,” he said.
Kakani added that any new variant “will be enough to rock the boat and therefore monitoring the situation closely is important”. He said the civic body appeals to those with even the slightest symptoms to get tested.