Bringing yet another change in its testing protocol, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now allow all those over the age of 70 to undergo testing for Covid-19 without prescription. The BMC, which had earlier warned doctors of disciplinary action if they recommended tests to patients without physical examination, has now decided to review this rule as well stating that e-prescriptions will also be allowed for testing.
An official from the Public Health Department said, “Since the death rate is high among senior citizens, we have relaxed the norms so that more number of people above 70 years can be tested. They will not require any prescription.”
According to BMC data, out of 3,735 deaths as on June 22, 2,669 deaths have been reported between the age group 50 years to 80 years. This comes to around 71 per cent of total deaths. In a bid to decrease the mortality rate, the civic body had started checking oxygen levels of senior citizens in containment zones and Covid-19 hotspots.
Officials said so far 4.18 lakh senior citizens have been screened of which 99 per cent had oxygen level less than 95 per cent.
On Tuesday, municipal commissioner I S Chahal launched “Mission Universal Testing” under which the civic body will purchase one lakh antigen testing kits for rapid testing. These kits can give results within half an hour and will help the civic body ramp up testing capacity.
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