Mumbai: 60 office goers test positive, BKC emerges as new COVID-19 hotspot

Updated: 17 September, 2020 17:42 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward said that all office and commercial complexes must get their employees tested for COVID-19

Mumbai Police officer get tested for COVID-19 at an antigen testing camp at Kasturba Police Station in Borivali. Pic/Satej Shinde
Mumbai Police officer get tested for COVID-19 at an antigen testing camp at Kasturba Police Station in Borivali. Pic/Satej Shinde

The Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), one of the poshest commercial hubs in the suburbs, has emerged as the latest COVID-19 hotspots in Mumbai after a few office goers tested positive for the deadly virus. As per BMC officials, 60 people who work at BKC have tested positive for coronavirus in the last one month.

According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, most of the officer goers live in South Mumbai's D ward, which comprises of Malabar Hill, Napean Sea Road and Tardeo among other places. These places have reported over 100 COVID-19 cases a day for the past three days, a BMC official said.

Interestingly, due to the rising number of COVID cases in the D ward, last week the BMC sealed two wings of a high-end residential building at Napean Sea Road after the civic body found 20 new cases in two days. Officials said that until now, the BMC was only screening people in residential areas.

However, as the city is opening up under the 'Mission Begin Again' initiative, more people are getting infected at workplaces. Taking into account this siuation, the civic body screened over 600 people who work at BKC and tested around 100 in the past few weeks.

"People who work in glass-and-steel buildings have no choice but to sit in air-conditioned offices the
whole day, even while eating food. That is possibly why the infection is spreading in BKC," a civic health official said.

Also Read: Asymptomatic cases rising, Mumbai scrambles to increase beds again

Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward, was quoted as saying, "Over the past few weeks, we have seen more than 50 cases that have links to BKC. Many of them work in the diamond industry. So we decided to conduct screening camps there. We screened more than 600 people in BKC and many of them turned out to be positive."

He further added, "We are doing antigen testing for those who have symptoms and their high-risk contacts. Those who come to work (at BKC) can get their results before they leave for home."

More so, Gaikwad said that all office and commercial complexes must get their employees tested for COVID-19. "As people step out to work, they are getting infected and bringing the virus back home. This is what we found when we screened people at BKC. We have also started screening and testing all shopkeepers in the area," he added.

Also Read: BMC starts COVID-19 survey but fears resistance from high-rises

Gaikwad stated, "We have been coordinating with officials in the H-East ward, where BKC is located. As soon as we find new cases, we inform officials in the wards where they live. We are also restating free COVID-19 testing centres and conducting testing camps at housing societies and residential complexes."

As per BMC data, the D ward had 7,546 COVID cases as of September 14, of which 1,466 were active cases. To date, the D ward has reported 260 deaths due to the global pandemic and with a growth rate of 1.63 per cent, it stands third among 24 wards spread across the city. At present, Mumbai's average growth rate is 1.6 per cent, while the doubling rate is once every 54 days. On the other hand, D ward's cases are doubling every 43 days.

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First Published: 17 September, 2020 17:25 IST

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