After confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 14 in Maharashtra, venture capital investor Mahesh Murthy on Thursday revealed how hard it is to actually get tested for COVID-19 in Mumbai.
Murthy, who was travelling from Amsterdam to Mumbai on March 11, wanted to get tested for COVID-19 but had to face hardship and couldn’t get tested. "So I tried to get tested for #COVID19. Really. I have no symptoms, but wanted to be sure. I got off a flight from Amsterdam yesterday at 0100, and took a cab straight to Kasturba Hospital in #Mumbai, the only authorized #coronavirus test center in the city," Murthy tweeted.
In a series of tweet the investor revealed how difficult it is to get tested for coronavirus in Mumbai. "They said it was open 24 by 7. I thought it'd be bustling. It was dark & deserted. After some looking, found a counter where I paid Rs. 10 to a gent for an appointment, and walked over to the OPD where a doctor woke up, put on a mask, and talked to me," Murthy tweeted.
The doctor then asked if Murthy had any symptoms of coronavirus, to which the investor said "no". The doctor then asked from where he was coming, Murthy said from Netherlands. After which the doctor told Murthy that he can only test passengers coming from selected 12 countries.
Later, Murthy told the doctor he was ready to pay for the tests, but the doctor reiterated and said that "I can't give you the test."
After he was denied for coronavirus test, Murthy said “One thing I know for sure. No matter what the announcements, or WhatsApp forwards, our country is not prepared in the least for coronavirus."
"I'd read that scanning isn't testing & scans can only say if you have a fever then you may be affected. Scans can't say if you're a carrier, because carriers may not be affected," he further added.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maharashtra rose to 14 with one patient each in Mumbai, Pune and Thane testing positive on Thursday.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on March 9 via its official Twitter handle shared an email address and a helpline number for the people to inquire about any health-related query. The helpline number is 011-2398046 and the email address is email@example.com.
Along with the helpline number and the email, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also gave a list of 52 COVID-19 testing laboratories across different states and union territories in India.
There are two COVID-19 testing laboratories in Maharashtra - Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Mumbai and Indira Gandhi Government Medical College in Nagpur.
Apart from Mumbai, Pune and Thane travellers are also being monitored in Gadchiroli, Nanded, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Nagpur, Wardha, Sangli, Ahmednagar, Amaravati, Palghar, Jalgaon, Chandrapur and Satara districts.