Coronavirus outbreak: Navi Mumbai gets its first COVID-19 lab

Updated: Aug 02, 2020, 07:14 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Nerul's Maasaheb Meenatai Thackeray set to test people for Coronavirus infection in a week's time, after receiving approval from the ICMR

NMMC commissioner Abhijeet Bangar visited the hospital along with Eknath Shinde and Rajan Vichare
NMMC commissioner Abhijeet Bangar visited the hospital along with Eknath Shinde and Rajan Vichare

After fighting COVID-19 for five months and its patient count crossing the 15,000 mark, Navi Mumbai is finally set to get its own testing lab. The facility has opened at Nerul's Maasaheb Meenatai Thackeray Hospital, run by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). The lab will have the capability to test 1,000 swabs in 24 hours. One of the main problems with respect to COVID-19 management in Navi Mumbai was the lack of its own lab to test swab samples for the viral disease. The samples had to be sent to Mumbai or one had to get tested from private labs. Abhijeet Bangar, newly-appointed NMMC Commissioner, resolved to set up a lab.

The NMMC, which was working on war footing, managed to procure machinery worth R11 crore. Bangar visited the hospital on Friday with cabinet minister Eknath Shinde and Member of Parliament Rajan Vichare to review the state of affairs. "The preparations are almost over. We will send a proposal to the ICMR soon, to get their approval for testing. Once we receive their approval, the lab will be operational," said an NMMC official on condition of anonymity. "If everything goes smoothly, the lab will be up and running in a week's time," he added.

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