Mumbai: The BMC has served a show cause notice on a private testing facility, Thyrocare Laboratories, for its prolonged delay in submission of reports on samples of coronavirus cases tested over the past week.
From April 19 to April 26, more than 65 per cent of the cases reported in the city were those tested earlier by private labs, whose results were being added to the tally of cases on a later day, causing numbers to rise sharply more than once last week, according to the BMC. The civic body claimed, nearly 950 of the 1,444 cases in this period were reported by private labs.
On April 24,168 of the 357 cases were reported by private labs, for which tests had been conducted between April 21 and 22. On April 23, the city reported 478 positive cases, of which 297 samples had been tested between April 20 and 21, contributing to a record surge.
On April 22,127 of the 309 cases were those from private lab tests conducted between April 17 and 19. Similarly, on April 21, of the 355 cases, 219 were the results of tests conducted by private labs between April 14 and 18.
Additional Municipal Commissioner (health) Suresh Kakani said since the samples were collected on April 14, the laboratories were expected to submit the reports on April 15 or 16, but the results came in only on April 21.
They accepted samples in excess of their testing capacity. As a result, there is a huge backlog. We estimate a backlog of nearly 300 cases. We have instructed the labs to complete the entire exercise by Monday, he said.
Calls and emails to Thyrocare failed to elicit a response. Earlier, the BMC had, on April 20, asked Metropolis Healthcare to stop collecting samples and testing patients, after it came to light that the lab was testing those who were neither high-risk contacts nor symptomatic.