Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Saturday said that it will conduct random rapid antigen test "without citizens' consent" at crowded places like malls, railway stations, bus depots, khau galli, markets, tourist places and government offices to check the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 infection.

"If the citizen refuses to test, it would amount to an offence under the Epidemic Act, 1897. Hence, action shall be initiated against the offender," the civic body said in its order.

The BMC also issued guidelines for conducting rapid COVID tests at all crowded places in Mumbai:

1. At each mall randomly from all visitors, at least daily 400 visitors' Rapid Antigen Tests shall be carried out.

2. At each Railway Station (inbound trains) randomly from all passengers at least 1000 passengers Rapid Antigen Tests shall be carried out.

3. At each MSRTC Bus Depot randomly from all passengers at least 1000 passengers Rapid Antigen Tests shall be carried out.

4. In addition to above crowded places, each ward shall carry out at least 1000 Kapid Antigen Tests, from other crowded places like, Restaurants (staff and customers), Khau Gullies, Hawkers, Market Places, Tourist Places, various Govt. Offices, beaches, etc.

5. Cost incurred for carrying out Rapid Antigen Test at malls shall be borne by the concerned visitor entering the mall. If any visitor refuses to get tested and pay the charges, it would amount to an offence under Epidemic Act, 1897. Hence, the action shall be initiated under Epidemic Act, 1897 against the offender.

6. At rest of the crowded places, cost of Rapid Antigen Test will be borne by MCGM. Accordingly, A.Cs. of the ward shall make the payment to the private lab. attached to their ward.

Over the last few days, coronavirus cases have been rising alarmingly in Mumbai, forcing the local authorities reimpose restrictions in the city. Earlier, reports had claimed that the state government is mulling a micro lockdown in the city to check the spread of the infection.

"As of now, it is not on our plan. But certainly, if the cases go up like this, and if we are not getting equal support from citizens, then we can keep that option open after a detailed review. That decision will be taken at an appropriate time," said Mumbai Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani earlier when asked about imposing a lockdown in the city.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma