COVID-19 tests can be conducted at private labs without a doctor's prescription from July 8, 2020 Mumbai's municipal body said on Tuesday. Earlier, only high-risk contacts of COVID-19 patients could avail tests without a doctor's prescription.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also stated that as soon as a person tests positive, one of the 24 COVID- war rooms will immediately assist in allotting a hospital bed. The municipal body inaugurated Jumbo facilities at Mulund, Dahisar, Mahalakshmi racecourse, and Bandra Kurla Complex.
The city reported 806 new cases and 64 new deaths on July 7, according to the BMC's daily bulletin. Currently, there are 22,996 active cases in the city. Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal also stated that patients will be discharged from institutional quarantines only after they test negative.
The move comes as BMC plans to increase its testing capacity. The city has been testing around 4500-6000 tests daily even though its capacity is much larger. The city has 17 private laboratory chains that are allowed to carry out testing along with the government run hospitals and centres. Despite such a large number, the testing capacity is low. The tests will be priced at 2,500 at the laboratory and 2,800 for home collection as decided by the state government.
Mumbai plans to ramp up its testing after a Ministry of Health and Family circular on July 1, 2020 stated that test-track-treat is the key strategy for early detection and containment of the pandemic. The Ministry highlighted the doctor's prescription as an impediment for testing and leading to unnecessary delays. The ICMR recommended that laboratories should be free to test any individual.
The city is also carrying out serological surveys and has allowed private labs to carry out antibody testing. Rapid antigen testing which gives results in fifteen minutes.
Updated On: 2020-07-07T21:30:49+05:30