Covid-19 outbreak: Mumbai civic body to conduct door-to-door survey to screen migrants in city

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to conduct a door-to-door survey to screen all migrant workers, who are returning to Mumbai, for Covid-19.

This is part of the civic body’s ‘My Family My Responsibility’ initiative.

Health workers have been instructed to visit homes of migrant workers who had left Mumbai during the lockdown and screen them for symptoms of Covid-19. BMC will also mobilise mobile clinics and testing camps in slum pockets where they notice reverse migration.

“We have lists of houses or chawls which were found locked during the door-to-door survey. Now, as migrants return to Mumbai, we will send our volunteers to inspect those places again. All family members have to undergo mandatory screening to avoid any chance of the spread of the virus,” said additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.

Under the ‘My Family My Responsibility’ campaign, BMC has so far surveyed 35.1 lakh families in Mumbai, including residents of slums and high-rise residential complexes.

As part of the survey, health volunteers visit homes and check residents for oxygen saturation and other symptoms of Covid-19. If anyone exhibits symptoms such as fever, cold, cough or loss of smell, they are tested for Covid-19.

“During the survey, around 4 lakh houses or rooms were found locked. Approximately, 18 lakh migrants used to live in those places who might return now as the lockdown has been relaxed,” said Kakani.

BMC has also instructed local medical practitioners to refer suspected Covid-19 patients to testing centres.

Health experts have welcomed the move.

“Migrant labourers were considered super spreaders as most lived in slums… BMC has to be cautious. Any mistake in screening can again spread the virus in overcrowded slums,” said Dr Sunil Mishra, health activist with NGO Doctors for Help.

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