The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has already saved around Rs 38 crore by setting up its own RT-PCR lab as it does not need to send samples of COVID-19 to private labs, claimed the civic administration. The civic body also claimed to have helped the nearby municipal body in getting COVID-19 test reports timely from its own lab.
The NMMC set up its own RT-PCR lab on August 4 at Maa Saheb Meenatai Thackeray Hospital, Nerul Civic Hospital. Started with a capacity to carry out upto 1000 RT-PCR tests per day, now it has been increased upto 5000 tests reports per day.
According to a senior civic official, around 6,36,073 test reports have already been generated from the lab so far, and the civic administration managed to save around Rs 38 crores. “We used to pay Rs 2200 for each test report to private labs. However, after setting up its own RT-PCR lab, the same report is available at less than Rs 700,” said a senior civic official.
In addition, the civic body also gets COVID tests in time. “Earlier, there was also a delay in getting reports from private labs which was hampering in the early detection of infected persons,” said the official, adding that by effective implementation of COVID 19 management, the civic body created an asset and also saved money.
The lab, which is currently being used to test for COVID 19, will be used for testing for hepatitis, swine flu, leptospirosis, HIV, and other molecular tests in the future. “This fully automatic lab is a permanent milestone achievement for NMMC and self-sufficient empowerment of the Health Department,” said another senior civic official.
According to civic administration, the civic body had also civic body and agencies testing at its own lab during the first wave of COVID.
As per the health experts and the state task force, the third wave of Covid is believed to be more severe than the previous waves. “Based on the experts’ suggestion, the civic body increased the capacity of its existing lab from 2000 tests to 5000 tests per day, realizing that the COVID chain can be broken if an immediate report is received by testing the COVID patients,” said an official from the civic health department. The increased capacity of the lab has been funded by Siemens India Ltd under the CSR activity.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)