Coronavirus Outbreak: NMMC decides to screen every person in containment zones

Published: May 28, 2020, 13:02 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

They will test people who have symptoms or low oxygen levels; the mass drive will be in Kopar Khairane and Turbhe; after cold response on second day, officials are escorting locals to the check up centres.

Picture/Anurag Kamble
Picture/Anurag Kamble

After focusing on APMC to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has now targetted the containment zones in Kopar Khairane and Turbhe. NMMC has started mass testing there from Tuesday and this will continue till June 9. On the first day, 400 residents took the tests, but the second day saw a cold response from them, resulting in NMMC officials literally escorting them to the check-up centres.

COVID-19 cases in NMMC's jurisdiction are nearing the 1,800 mark. On May 26, the total cases were 1,774 with 52 deaths. Initially when the APMC had become the hotbed of the infection, NMMC had organised a mass screening for the workers and shop owners.

Mass drive to curb cases

"If you look at the past five days in Navi Mumbai; Kopar Khairane and Turbhe have contributed 142 of 345 cases, which is around 40 per cent. On the other hand, if any of the vendors, workers live in these areas, they can develop into a hotbed of COVID-19. To avoid that situation, we have started the mass drive, which will make sure all symptomatic and asymptomatic people get screened," said a senior NMMC official.  

At least 10 dedicated medical teams have been formed for this drive, with doctors and staff from Dr DY Patil and Terna Hospital, Nerul. Teams will first check for fever and have a word with people from containment zones to see if they have COVID-19 symptoms. If someone reports the same, his/her oxygen level is tested with a pulse oxymeter. If the level of oxygen doesn't look satisfactory, swab tests are done.

Escorting locals for tests

On the first day at Kopar Khairane, NMMC claimed more than 400 residents came forward for the tests, but on the second day, the number dropped significantly. On Wednesday, NMMC officials had to stand outside the testing centre and call residents for testing, and even escort them to get screened. "There is a general fear among the citizens that if they don't have any symptoms and still test positive, they have to go to hospital, but this mentality will change," added another officer.

"NMMC is conducting these drives to ensure no infected person remains in the area, especially in containment zones. The major challenge is of asymptomatic persons, we are hoping people will break the chain of spreading by getting screened," said Annasaheb Misal, municipal commissioner of NMMC.

Days of testing

Kopar Khairane
Sector 15, 16: May 28
Sector 23: May 29, 30
Sector 12: June 1, 2

Turbhe 
Sector 21 and 22: June 3, 4
Turbhe Stores: June 5, 6
Turbhe Naka: June, 8, 9

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