The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to purchase more antigen detection kits on Wednesday to ensure testing continues at the same pace even if the number of new patients identified every day continues to decrease.
“We have decided to procure 50,000 more antigen kits. This is to retain the ongoing rate of testing to identify and isolate infected persons faster,” said Sanjeev Wavare, assistant medical officer, PMC.
The PMC began antigen testing in June after receiving approval from the state government. Initially, one lakh kits were procured and another one lakh were bought later. “The civic administration has so far used 1.5 lakh antigen kits through which we have been able to identify 35,000 infected persons so far. We have decided to order more kits in advance,” he added.
If needed, the PMC will purchase more kits in addition to the 50,000, Waware said. The PMC has spent at least Rs 9 crore on these kits and is prepared to purchase more at a price of Rs 450 per kit.
Antigen kits are used to test suspected patients, their high risk contacts as well as patients with comorbidities.
According to the civic administration, the positivity rate, which had witnessed a surge after the Ganesh festival, is stabilising now. The numbers of active cases are decreasing as more patients are recovering than are new ones being identified per day over the past few days.
“We have not decreased the number of tests much as 6,000 tests are being carried out every day. The observation is that the positivity rate is decreasing. It was 30 per cent a few days ago and has now come down to 24 per cent,” said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.
However, there are limitations in increasing RT-PCR tests and results of the tests are often not declared for three days, despite instructions to declare them within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the civic administration has urged private laboratories to conduct tests on collected samples in time and give the reports to the patients.
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