The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has provided a greenlight to four laboratories in Mumbai India to start testing for COVID0-19. They include Thyrocare, Suburban Diagnostics, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd and H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital. They will be activated within days.
The ICMR reports another 16 laboratories are awaiting approvals. This is a big change from what has been the status quo over the last couple months where only one laboratory was operational.
A vast city of 20 million, currently only KEM Hospital has been carrying out COVID-19 testing, a seeming dangerously divergent ratio of lab to people. The tests have thus far been free; now the state will add considerably more testing machines in the testing centers within the select hospitals, reports the Times of India. More labs will be activated at JJ Hospital (Byculla) and Haffkine Institute (Parel) soon for testing.
At least 20 laboratories have applied to the ICMR for COVID-19 testing and four have been approved by ICMR. Leading hospitals such as PD Hinduja have been considered but not approved as of yet.
Testing charges have been capped at Rs 4,500 ($59.33) and the mandate is to find and test asymptomatic patients to help contain any pandemics in this highly populated area. Additionally, healthcare workers and those with serious respiratory symptoms are accepted even without history of travel (this is a change).
It is imperative that cities such as Mumbai work diligently to contain the spread of COVID-19.Source: Times of India