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Mumbai — Pvt labs not to share test reports with infected: BJP seeks withdrawal of BMC circular

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on Wednesday wrote to Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, seeking withdrawal of the circular. Somaiya alleged that the civic body's move could affect patients as with these new rules, they have to wait longer to get treated.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: June 18, 2020 4:12:50 am
The BMC on June 13 had issued an amended circular barring private labs from sharing test results with positive patients.

The BJP and the MNS on Wednesday opposed the BMC’s decision to bar private laboratories from informing Covid-19 positive patients about their test results. The two parties claimed the decision stemmed from the desire to suppress actual case numbers in the city.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya on Wednesday wrote to Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, seeking withdrawal of the circular. Somaiya alleged that the civic body’s move could affect patients as with these new rules, they have to wait longer to get treated.

“Wrote to BMC Commissioner to withdraw 13 June Absurd circular, prohibiting Private Laboratory to give Corona Positive Reports directly to the Persons/Family but to submit to BMC only. LOGIC?? Negative reports be given to the Persons! The person who required urgent information/Treatment is asked to wait,” tweeted Somaiya.

The BMC on June 13 had issued an amended circular barring private labs from sharing test results with positive patients. The results should be first shared with the BMC, the circular stated, adding it only if the patient tests negative, can the report be shared directly with him or her. Even the results of the tests conducted in hospitals by private labs will have to be shared with BMC first, the circular stated.

Earlier, based on ICMR guidelines, private labs were asked to share results with patients within 24 hours of the test being conducted. BMC officials said that change has been introduced for better bed management and treatment.

MNS leader Nitin Sardesai posted on Facebook: “I was shocked to see the circular. Patients have rights to know about their results. If any positive patient does not get treatment on time then who will be responsible. Is this a move to suppress numbers of patients?”

State Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope, however, said: “This has been done to better bed management… Once a report is shared with the BMC, the patient will not have to start looking for hospital beds, as the corporation will arrange bed and ambulance for him or her.”

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