After complaints from Malegaon residents over delays in testing for Covid-19 and unavailability of doctors, the state government has now proposed to start a teleradiology system, whereby radiologists can evaluate the X-rays of patients from Malegaon without physically being present there.
Alarmed at the delay in tests, Health Minister Rajesh Tope has also announced a dedicated testing block for Malegaon, through which 300 tests can be conducted exclusively for the city at the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV).
Residents had spoken out over delays in testing samples, which at times are sent 670 km away to labs in Nagpur, leading to undetected spread and increasing fatalities in Malegaon. Samples from Malegaon are also sent to Nashik and Dhule.
“There had been delays in testing earlier and reports were being given after a gap of eight days. However, now Malegaon will get a dedicated slot for 300 tests daily at NIV, with results coming in 24 hours. We are also setting up a new testing facility in Dhule, which will have a capacity of conducting 450 tests daily… this will also help Malegaon,” Tope said after his visit to Malegaon Wednesday.
He added it was a fact that big doctors were not willing to come to Malegaon. However, to ensure that local residents had access to better diagnosis, the state was starting a teleradiology system.
Teleradiology is the transmission of radiological patient images, such as X-rays, CTs and MRIs, from one location to another for the purposes of sharing studies or diagnosis. The system will be operational by Friday.
As of Wednesday, Malegaon had reported 617 cases and 34 deaths. Tope claimed that though the city had recorded high number of cases, a total of 256 patients have been discharged so far.
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