Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday demanded that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government should direct the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to adhere to the ICMR guidelines in testing people for COVID-19.
In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis urged him to ask the BMC to follow the ICMR norms pertaining to testing of all asymptomatic high-risk contacts including family members.
The BMC has recently issued orders that there is no need to test the asymptomatic high-risk contacts, who need to be quarantined, the BJP leader wrote.
The asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between the 5th and 14th day of coming in his/her contact as per the ICMR guidelines, which is not being done by the BMC, he said.
“While the figures of patients may be reducing, the risk of coronavirus is increasing. This is an artificial method to reduce the number of patients and it may prove to be dangerous,” Fadnavis warned.
In the past few days, there has been a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases and casualties in the BMC – which is controlled by the Shiv Sena.
As per BMC’s recent directives, it now conducts tests for asymptomatic patients for COVID-19 only after five days of quarantine, if they display symptoms.
While high-risk asymptomatic patients will be compulsorily quarantined for 14 days, their swab test would not be collected immediately.
Instead, the samples of those in quarantine will be collected between the 5th and 14th day if they develop the symptoms.
“This means that the high-risk asymptomatic persons will not be tested. The world over the maximum spread has occurred due to such high-risk asymptomatic persons. This also poses a huge risk for Mumbai. The ICMR guidelines in this regard must be strictly followed,” Fadnavis demanded.
Mumbai and Maharashtra are the worst-hit in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While Mumbai has recorded 2085 cases and 122 deaths, the state total (including Mumbai) is 3,320 cases and 201 casualties.