BMC cracks the whip on 'unreported' home Covid test reports

by IANS |

Mumbai, Jan. Jan 14 (IANS) Taking a serious view of the massive spike in Covid-19 cases in the past fortnight, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has cracked the whip on "unreported" home tests that prevent tracking of infected persons or their contacts, officials said here on Friday.

The BMC has ordered all retail manufacturers/distributors of such home testing kits sold to pharmacies, chemists or dispensaries to inform the Food & Drugs Commissioner and the civic body's Epidemiology Cell of the same.

The civic authorities said that all Covid-19 positive tests either through Rapid Antigen Test Kits or Home Test Kits, were expected to be reported to the ICMR by the concerned laboratory or the individuals who are found infected.

However, there are suspected to be instances of persons testing positive on Home Test Kits which have not been brought to the notice of ICMR.

This has resulted in no tracking of such patients and the infection keeps spreading through their contact, making it difficult to contain the spread of the virus, said BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal.

The BMC has also ordered all chemists/pharmacies/medical stores/dispensaries to provide details of such Home Test Kits sold to the customers to the FDA and Epidemiology Cell in a prescribed format.

The retailers shall also issue a bill to the concerned buyer and maintain a record of such sales.

The FDA Commissioner is entrusted with monitoring the sales and distribution of the Home Test Kits and informing the persons concerned to report the test outcome on a given App.

The Epidemiology Cell will collate the data received through email from the manufacturers/distributors, forward them to the concerned BMC Ward Medical or Health Officers for further actions like monitoring the health of the person/s testing positive and uploading their data on ICMR or App.

The latest BMC orders came as the state remained in the 46K range of daily Covid-19 infections in the ongoing third wave, with the infection spreading at a much faster rate than the two previous waves, despite the vaccination process going on rapidly.

In Maharashtra, Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nagpur continue to be the worst-hit districts besides the added complications of 1,367 Omicron cases in the state.

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