Mumbai: BMC to start free COVID-19 test centres

Updated: 01 November, 2020 07:31 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

The facilities will be available at the civic body's clinics at the ward level by mid-November

Doctors and lab technicians conducting swab tests at Dhanji Devasi BMC school, Ghatkopar East, on Saturday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Doctors and lab technicians conducting swab tests at Dhanji Devasi BMC school, Ghatkopar East, on Saturday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

To increase its daily testing numbers, the BMC is going to introduce requisite facilities at its clinics at the ward level. There are, on an average, 13,000 tests done daily and the corporation is planning to increase it to over 20,000, now that the festive season has started and transport and other facilities and businesses have opened.

The civic body had restricted testing in the early months of the pandemic and there were barely 6,000 tests conducted per day in July. The test positivity rate (TPR) was around 20 per cent at that time and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had said that the test positivity rate should be below 10 per cent. The TPR is an indicator that an adequate number of tests are being done. While August had a TPR of 13 per cent, the number of patients and TPR increased in September. The TPR went to 17 per cent in September when there were around 12,000 tests carried out per day. The BMC managed to increase the number of tests per day to 13,000 in October, which brings TPR to 13 per cent for the month. The BMC has 175 clinics in 24 wards. It will select five clinics in each ward and offer free testing in the specified time. The list is being prepared and the facility will be available some time before Diwali. "The number of COVID-19 patients doubled in September after the Ganpati festival. The plan is also to allow everyone on the suburban train system. BMC is already doing free testing at a few clinics, but people are not aware of that. We are going to publish a list of at least five clinics in each ward in the next week, so that people can do tests at nearer centres," said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner.

13,000
No. of COVID-19 and antigen tests being done daily as of now. A number, BMC wants to increase to 20,000

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First Published: 01 November, 2020 07:31 IST

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