Bhiwandi-Nizampur, which witnessed 1223 per cent spike with Covid-19 cases from 176 on June 2 to 2,330 cases on July 3, will soon get a dedicated test centre. Health Minister Rajesh Tope, who in Bhiwandi on Thursday, announced the new lab will be set up at IGM Hospital.
With a capacity to test up to 200 samples in 15-16 hours, the centre is expected to release as many reports within 24 hours, officials said.
Since the outbreak, swabs of suspected coronavirus patients from the textile town are sent to either Pune or J J Hospital in Mumbai for test and hence reports are available only after two-three days. Local residents had claimed the delay in getting the reports had played a major role in the spike in Covid-19 cases.
“Once we have our own machinery, we will save transportation time and we can conduct a minimum 200 test in 15-16 hours. If we get multiple machineries then we will have more test results that shall help us in identifying the patients faster and treating them at the earliest,” Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Aashiya said.
Before June 20, only 150 samples could be sent for tests due to logistical issues, officials said. The number had increased to 300 from June 21.
Currently, it takes more than three days to get a test result, MLA Rais Shaikh said. “After we have the dedicated laboratory, we can get the report within 24 hours,” he said. During a review meeting, Tope on Thursday also directed Aashiya to prepared a list of five hospitals from the district that could be enlisted under the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Aarogya Yojana. Aashiya said while there were eight such hospitals, names of five had been sent to the state government. “After an audit, the hospitals will start operating under the scheme,” he said.
Meanwhile, to address the issue of patients being turned away from hospitals, the civic authorities on Friday also set up a special flying squad and a helpline number where people could lodge complaints.
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