MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI :
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ban on two covid-19 testing labs in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region will hit covid-19 testing in the city, said officials from BMC and the testing companies.
On Thursday, the BMC banned Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, Mumbai’s largest private laboratory, from conducting covid-19 tests for the next four weeks. Last week, another private lab, Thyrocare Technologies was banned in Thane by the Municipal Corporation for false positive reports.
These bans will hit Mumbai’s capacity in fighting covid-19. These labs together would do around 1500-1600 tests per day in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
The maximum city on Friday reported 1,366 new cases and 90 fresh deaths. The city’s tally of positive cases now stands at 55,451 and deaths’ count at 2,044.
Overall Maharashra on Friday crossed the one lakh-mark after it reported 3,493 cases. A total of 3,717 patients have died in the state so far. On Friday, the state reported 127 new deaths.
According to a June 5 direction from BMC all covid-19 samples must be tested within 24 hours.
The ban comes in the wake of complaints of delays in preparing covid-19 test reports.
A. Velumani, chairman and managing director of Thyrocare Technologies Ltd says the administrators don’t seem to understand science.
“What is positive today will become negative later. Otherwise how will the patient recover. I am not worried about whether I test more or test less. But the administration is not keen to listen to us,” said Velumani.
Delays in report leads to delay in contact tracing thereby delay in treatment and in some cases, death, the BMC said its order against Metropolis Laboratory, issued on Thursday.
According to Metropolis Healthcare spokesperson, the lab has faced some temporary challenges of vendor delays and manpower shortage due to employees not showing up to work.
The labs which are operational 24×7, have deployed additional resources and cleared all the backlog so far, the spokesperson said, adding that the company is working with the BMC to address concerns.
“As the largest lab chain in Maharashtra with the highest capacity for covid-19 testing, our only aim is to serve the citizens of Bombay and the state. With increasing infection rate in Maharashtra, Metropolis and government can partner together in the fight against covid,” she said.
Maharashtra has 95 labs to screen for covid-19 tests in the state, of which 54 are government ones and 41 are run by private firms.