Different yardsticks! Early testing on radar as MBMC chief reports negative for COVID-19
Different yardsticks! Early testing on radar as MBMC chief reports negative for COVID-19
Photo: PTI

The Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has two completely different yardsticks when it comes to collecting swab tests of the common man in comparison to their own officers for confirming coronavirus infection.

Less than three days after he decided to quarantine himself after coming into contact with a corona positive person, MBMC chief- Dr. Vijay Rathod resumed office on Friday after his swab report tested negative on Thursday. This is in sharp contrast to MBMC ‘s own procedure mandating tests for asymptomatic patients for the infection only after 5 to 7 days of quarantine following contact with a positive person or if they show symptoms.

Normally, the health department conducts swab tests of contact persons only after keeping them in quarantine for not less than five to eight days. Medical experts believe that testing people for Covid-19 too early in the course of infection may result in a false negative diagnosis, even though they may eventually test positive for the virus.

However a CT scan or chest X-ray after a week verifies the presence or absence of the virus. The civic chief had quarantined himself at a hotel in Mira Road on Wednesday after one of his deputies tested positive for the infection.

Out of the 15,045 swab tests conducted, 9,321 persons tested negative and 4,993 positive. It has been alleged that reports were not being generated on time which not only led to delays in treatment, especially homemates of positive patients, but also enhances the risk of spread due to lack of monitoring by the MBMC.

This is evident by the fact that as many as 731 swab test reports were pending till Thursday. Early testing produces a surprisingly high rate of false negatives that can incorrectly show a person isn’t infected, sources said.

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