Diagnostic labs in Mumbai said they can conduct more Covid tests, and suggested that the drop in tests is due to the reduction in the number of flights. The withdrawal of a government order suggesting testing of e-commerce and restaurant delivery valets has also helped ease the testing capacity.
“Laboratories in Mumbai were stressed in early April but have increased their capacities now, and hence there are no floor bottlenecks in testing samples,” said Dr A Velumani, founder-chairman, Thyrocare.
“One reason for decline in testing in Mumbai is the reduction in air travel. The workload has reduced since there are fewer passengers," he added.
"We have unutilised capacity and have urged the BMC to resume the rule for fortnightly testing of delivery boys and corporates," said Ameera Shah, managing director, Metropolis Healthcare.
On Monday, BMC commissioner I S Chahal expressed concern over the drop in Covid-19 testing in Mumbai and appealed to residents to get themselves tested. The daily tests fell from around 44,000 to 28,000 on Sunday.
"Our aggressive testing policy has resulted in reduction of positivity rate. This might have reduced the natural demand for home collection of swabs by our citizens in the last few days," the municipal commissioner said.
The positivity rate in Mumbai has dropped to single digits and fresh cases are less than 5,000. Mumbai registered 2,624 cases on Monday and recorded 78 fatalities.
“We need to increase the testing to 40,000 per day, at least, if not more,” he added.