Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Maharashtra: Plan to run testing at govt labs 24×7, deploy mobile vans | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Amid the sharp spike in Covid cases, the state public health department is considering starting 24×7 RT-PCR testing at government laboratories. It is also planning to deploy mobile vans for RT-PCR testing across the state.
Last week, the department had issued orders to the committee set up to suggest measures to increase testing to examine if government labs can operate in three shifts and carry out testing 24×7. The state had also asked the panel, headed by state health assurance society CEO Sudhakar Shinde, to check if there is a need to increase manpower and supply of testing kits at the labs.
“RT-PCR testing has already been ramped up on our suggestions. Maharashtra is carrying out the highest number of tests per day over the last weeks,” said Dr Shinde. “Now, we will examine if testing can be done 24×7 in three shifts and will make recommendations accordingly,” he added. Last June, the panel had suggested that government labs must ramp up testing and operate 24×7 so that more tests can be done free of cost.
Last week, for the fourth time, the state brought down Covid-19 testing rates, with an RT-PCR test costing as low as Rs 500 to Rs 800, and an antibody test ranging between Rs 250 and Rs 550. The government also slashed the fee for collecting patient sample from residence, the transport, testing, and reporting of samples to Rs 800 from Rs 980.

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