Pune: Laboratory staff at the B J Medical College has tested positive for coronavirus infection and thus have stopped collecting swab samples and testing for COVID-19 for the last four days. As a result, citizens are suffering due to delay in receiving test reports for their swab samples.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Pune city has been steadily increasing for the last three months. More than one and a half thousand new patients are being found every day. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has started swab collection centres at the private and civic hospitals and ward office level. Rapid Antigen tests and RT PCR tests are being conducted at these testing centres.
The RT PCR test report is expected to arrive within 24 hours. Until then, the patient needs to be isolated. However, it takes three to four days for the RTPCR test report to arrive. Once the swab is taken, the patient is asked to return and stay at home.
Nilesh Deshmukh, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of Sahakarnagar Dhankawadi Ward Office said, "Swab collected from areas under the jurisdiction of Sahakarnagar Dhankawadi ward office were sent to B J Medical College laboratory. However, swab collection and testing at this facility have been stopped for the past four days. Laboratory staff at B J Medical College has been tested positive for COVID-19 disease. So they have stopped taking swabs samples for COVID-19 testing. Now, all the swab samples are being sent to IISER and NIBM for testing. This is the cause of delay for reports. Efforts are underway to resume operations at the B J Medical College laboratory."
Dr Vaishali Jadhav, Assistant Health Chief of PMC said, "We have instructed to give the test report to the patient in time after the swab is taken. We are also tracing and testing persons who have come in close contact with the patient."
Corporator Vishal Tambe said, "Efforts are being made at various levels to prevent COVID-19 infections and to make test reports available to patients in time. If citizens get a report in time, it will help them start treatment in time and thus the critical case of COVID-19 will be reduced."