COVID-19: Mumbai's testing crosses 15k mark two days in a row
Increase in numbers comes as BMC tests its frontline workers, support of RT-PCR tests remains crucial to identify positive patients
For the past two days — Wednesday and Thursday — the number of tests in the city has been crossing the 15,000 mark. Of these, around 7,000 were antigen tests. Testing of the BMC's own frontline workers has also increased the total. The positivity rate of the antigen tests, however, remains less than one-third of the RT-PCR tests and needs better follow-up in case of negative results.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the number of RT-PCR tests was 8,400, antigen tests increased to 7,300 and 6,700 respectively, with their share increasing from 25 per cent to nearly 50 per cent.
"Tests are available at camps and at BMC dispensaries. All the wards are trying to increase testing," said Sanjay Kurhade, assistant commissioner of R south (Kandivli) ward. Earlier too, between July 27 and August 1, antigen tests boosted testing. The average number of tests was 10,200 every day and 5,150 (more than half) were antigen. "The number may increase on particular days when frontline workers like BMC employees or contractual workers of the health or Solid Waste Management departments get tested," said a BMC official.
TPR comes down
From September 3 to September 10, while the TPR for antigen tests was 5 to 10 per cent depending upon the number of tests, that of RT-PCR tests was around 25 per cent. This made the overall TPR fall between 18 and 22 per cent. However, negative results of antigen tests are to be followed up with RT-PCR tests. "Both tests are important. Antigen tests are quick, cost-effective so, better for mass testing. While a positive is confirmed positive, chances of false-negative results are 40 per cent. Hence, an RT-PCR test after a negative antigen test for symptomatic patients is necessary," said Dr Avinash Bhondave, president of the Indian Medical Association, Maharashtra.
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