MCGM launches ‘Mission Universal Testing’
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
Public Relations Department
MCGM launches ‘Mission Universal Testing’
1 lakh antigen testing kits that provide reports in less than half an hour will soon be made available
Private hospitals too have been instructed to purchase antigen testing kits
Corporate houses will be able to conduct tests by purchasing rapid testing kits
Senior citizens above 70 years of age can take tests at home without a prescription. Others will be able to get tested at home via e-prescription.
MCGM will bear the salaries of technicians operating mobile dispensary vans
MCGM’s all-round efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus are showing promising results. In line with its aggressive approach in the city’s fight against the virus, MCGM has now launched ‘Mission Universal Testing’. The most important component of this mission is MCGM’s decision to procure 1 lakh antigen testing kits that provide reports in less than half an hour. Corporate houses and private companies too have been advised to test their employees by purchasing rapid testing kits.
In the presence of Municipal Commissioner Shri. Iqbal Singh Chahal, a meeting of various Additional Municipal Commissioners, concerned Joint Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of various medical laboratories was held today (June 23, 2020) via video conferencing, where Shri. Chahal gave a host of instructions to all concerned officials.
As per Maharashtra state government’s resolution published yesterday (June 22, 2020), antigen tests are to be conducted exclusively by kits manufactured by SD Biosensor and approved by ICMR. Diagnosis capabilities of these kits are much faster in comparison to RT-PCR – the only diagnostic test currently in use. These antigen kits can be used to identify patients affected by coronavirus and other illnesses in hotspots and containment zones. With test results obtained within 15 to 30 minutes, it is possible to provide immediate treatment to those affected. Keeping this in mind, MCGM has decided to procure 1 lakh of these government approved antigen kits, which will soon be available. They will be used across all Municipal Hospitals, Government Hospitals as well as COVID Care Centres and will speed up the process of limiting the spread of the virus.
At the same time, corporation has also requested 35 large private hospitals
across Mumbai Municipal Region to purchase and use these government approved
antigen test kits.
Apart from this, according to revised ICMR guidelines, individuals from high risks
groups are currently tested between 5 to 10 days. An additional 2,000 tests per day will
be conducted of these individuals. As a result of this, the current average of 4,000-4,500
tests per day will go up to 6,000-6,500.
In addition, high risk contacts isolated at home are now allowed to get
themselves tested at any medical laboratory. Corporation has facilitated one medical lab
for each of the 24 ward offices of MCGM. However, high risk individuals can get
themselves tested in labs other than those affiliated to the ward offices. Medical labs too
have been allowed to do the same.
Senior citizens over the age of 70 will now be able to get themselves home tested
for coronavirus at any medical laboratory without a doctor’s prescription. Caretakers of
such senior citizens will also be able to take the test, if needed.
Citizens will be able to get themselves tested at home even if they are able to
acquire an e-prescription from their doctor instead of a physical copy of the same, said
Shri. Chahal. This decision, taken in the interest and convenience of citizens, will help
increase the number of tests being conducted.
Government has also approved the use of rapid testing kits being developed by
Abbott and Roche. In view of this, MCGM has instructed corporate houses and private
companies to procure kits being produced by these companies and test their employees.
This step will play a key role to curb the contagion as the city unlocks in a phased manner.
It will also transform the private sector into an active participant that will help limit the
spread of COVID-19.
MCGM has already implemented ‘Mission Zero’ Rapid Action Plan. More and
more citizens will now be tested with the mobile dispensary vans, especially in the
northern part of the city. Salaries of private medical laboratory technicians (Lab
Technicians) appointed on the vehicles in this Public-Private Partnership initiative will be
borne by MCGM.
‘Mission Universal Testing’ aims to trace, test and provide timely treatment to
citizens in order to control the spread of the virus. All of these measures will play an
important role in helping the city achieve that goal.