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COVID tests: Private labs under scanner, PCMC asks them to strictly adhere to norms

Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Thursday held an urgent meeting with representatives of at least nine private labs and told them to keep PCMC updated about their tests. "We also told the labs to strictly comply with our rules and regulations," he said.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Published: July 10, 2020 12:17:34 am
pcmc, pune covid -19 pune covid testing, pune district collector, pune private labs testing, indian express news “There was a need to streamline the functioning of labs and private hospitals… appropriate steps have been taken in this regard,” said a Health department official. (Representational)

AFTER the Pune District Collectorate launched an investigation against a private lab following doubts over its Covid-19 test reports, the Pimpri-Chinchwd Municipal Corporation has initiated steps to regularise the functioning of private laboratories.

Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on Thursday held an urgent meeting with representatives of at least nine private labs and told them to keep PCMC updated about their tests. “We also told the labs to strictly comply with our rules and regulations,” he said.

The PCMC chief said labs were told to inform the PCMC medical department about the tests they are conducting. “The labs should inform PCMC about the swabs collected, the places they were collected from, and all other relevant details. For every person who tests positive, the labs should tell them about the precautions to be taken till they are admitted to the hospital… the labs also have tell the suspected patients about steps related to quarantine…,” he said.

Hardikar said hospitals which conduct tests have also been told to alert PCMC about the Covid-19 tests they are conducting. “This will help us prepare… about a certain number of patients who might test positive and require admission… the hospitals are expected to help the patient get admission in dedicated Covid hospitals or care centres,” he said.

Hardikar said a special officer has been appointed to coordinate the functioning of labs. Civic health officials said the step was taken after complaints that some of the patients who underwent tests at private labs and hospitals were found to be unaware of the need to be quarantined till they got their test reports.

“There was a need to streamline the functioning of labs and private hospitals… appropriate steps have been taken in this regard,” said a Health department official.

Referring to the investigation launched by the district collector against a private lab, Thyrocare, after doubts were raised about its test reports in Haveli taluka, Hardikar said the PCMC has so far not received any complaints about test reports of private labs. “ICMR has to look into this issue… the initial 20 test reports from these labs are sent to NIV. Once NIV gives green signal about the accurateness of these tests, we decide to get our tests done from these labs. Each lab gives 100-150 test reports per day,” he said.

District Collector Naval Kishore Ram said the investigation regarding Thyrocare was limited only to Haveli taluka. “We have been getting complaints about test reports of private labs. In one of the cases, when we rechecked a positive report with NIV, the report came back negative. We have launched an investigation to find out if there are more such cases,” he said.

Chandrashekhar Mani, vice-president of operations, Thyrocare, said,”The report in this case tested positive first. When they retested it, the report was negative. It is quite possible as the viral load in a patient can come down in two days. Also, we have not received any intimation from the collectorate so far. Reportedly, it is only for Haveli taluka.”

Jagtap targets PCMC admn

Two days after the PCMC administration scrapped the tender for its Rs 750 crore mechanised road sweeping project, BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap accused the civic administration of favouring NCP corporators and failing in its duty to control the spike in Covid-19 cases.

Jagtap on Thursday sent a letter to the PCMC, seeking reply to 26 points raised by him.

PCMC opposition leader Nana Kate, however, alleged, “Jagtap has been hurt by the cancellation of the tender process for mechanised sweeping. The issues he has raised relate to a corporator and not to an MLA.”

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