People in Mumbai can now test themselves for coronavirus infection at designated private hospitals without any doctor's prescription, according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). This decision has come as a big relief for several citizens who want to get tested for coronavirus but don't show symptoms.
The BMC in a press release said, "No prescription or self-declaration is required for COVID testing of symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals. Home swab collections for COVID testing (only RT PCR) are allowed and no prescription is required for the same".
Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal took the decision to allow testing without a medical prescription in view of the increase in the number of private laboratories and their capacity.
Earlier, only patients with symptoms and a doctor's prescription were allowed to get tested. However, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) also had issued guidelines, asking states to do away with doctor's prescription for COVID testing.
Until today, there are at least 17 government-designated private laboratories in Mumbai that can conduct COVID-19 test.
Welcoming the BMC move, Maharashtra MLA Aaditya Thackeray tweeted, "The @mybmc has decided to open up testing to any individual in the city without prescription/self-attestation. Labs can now conduct RT PCR tests as per ICMR guidelines at the will of anyone. This will help citizens feel safer and test when they have a doubt, without any delays".
The @mybmc has decided to open up testing to any individual in the city without prescription/ self attestation. Labs can now conduct RT PCR tests as per ICMR guidelines at the will of anyone. This will help citizens feel safer and test when they have a doubt, without any delays.- Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) July 7, 2020
As per the Maharashtra government orders, a private lab in Mumbai can charge Rs 2,500 for a COVID-19 test. The rate is Rs 2,800 if the test is conducted at home. So far, 3,63,120 tests have been conducted in Mumbai, according to BMC. Additionally, the civic body also informed that those kept in institutional quarantine will be discharged only when they test negative for the virus.
Mumbai added 806 new cases, the lowest single-day figure in nearly two months, to its tally in the day. The city, now has, a total of 86,132 total positive cases for coronavirus. As many as 4,999 people have succumbed to the fatal virus till now. However, the tally of recovered patients has also climbed to 58,137.