Mumbai

BMC to start free tests at 244 places from today

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will kick-start free COVID-19 tests at 244 locations, including the civic body-run clinics and hospitals, from Monday. This will take the total number of State-run centres in the city to conduct tests to more than 300.

The doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai increased to 164 days on October 31 from 157 days the day before. “We are ensuring that the citizens get to conduct COVID-19 tests at ease. There are over 300 civic-run centres in the city where testing can be held. This is an important step towards our strategy to fight the virus,” Suresh Kakani, additional municipal corporation, BMC, said.

Across 24 wards

The newly announced 244 COVID-19 testing centres are distributed across all 24 wards. Their addresses will be available by dialling toll free number 1916 run by the BMC’s main control room, and on the COVID-19 dedicated link http://stopcoronavirus.mcgm.gov.in.

Initially, the free testing centres will be operational between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. every day on a ‘walk-in’ basis. The facilities will undertake RT-PCR tests at some places while at most of the places antigen tests will be conducted.

The State government has already brought down the the rates of the tests conducted at private laboratories. A test at a private lab now costs ₹1,400 while a sample taken from home is charged ₹1,800.

“Along with the new 244 centres, people of Mumbai can undertake tests at private labs and at the hospitals run by the State and the Centre. This will help increase the number of tests, which in turn will help us determine the spread of the disease,” Mr. Kakani said.

As per the numbers available on Sunday, Mumbai has a total 2,58,405 COVID-19 cases of whom 18,522 are active. The overall growth rate of positive cases in Mumbai from October 24 to October 30 had dropped to 0.42%.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 1:09:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bmc-to-start-free-tests-at-244-places-from-today/article32999335.ece

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