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Coronavirus in Navi Mumbai: NMMC saves over Rs 4.5 cr by testing at its own lab

08:28 PM Sep 28, 2020 | Amit Srivastava

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) saved around Rs 4.5 crore by setting up its own RT-PCR lab as it does not need to send samples of COVUID 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 that has the capacity to carry out up to 1000 RT-PCR tests per day.

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Civic chief Abhijit Bangar said that to date, around 30,000 test reports were generated from the newly set up lab, and the civic administration managed to save around Rs 4.5 crores.

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“We used to pay Rs 2,200 for each test report to private labs. However, after setting up its own RT-PCR lab, the same report is available at just Rs 700,” said Bangar. He added that for 30,000 tests, the civic spent around Rs 2.1 crore which could have been Rs 6.6 crores if it was sent to private labs.

“There was also a delay in getting reports from private labs which was hampering in the early detection of infected persons,” said Bangar, 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 Bangar.

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According to civic administration, the civic body is helping other civic body and agencies testing at its own lab.

Meanwhile, the civic chief refuted claims on social media that the lab was closed non-operational for a week. “The lab is operational in three shifts since it was started on August 4 and people should not believe in rumour on social media,” said Bangar. At present, around 3,000 tests are being conducted in civic jurisdiction of which 500 to 600 tests are RT-PCR.

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