Coronavirus Outbreak: Private Hospitals, Labs In Mumbai To Conduct Covid-19 Tests
A healthcare worker holds a clipboard of Covid-19 screening questionnaires. Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg

Coronavirus Outbreak: Private Hospitals, Labs In Mumbai To Conduct Covid-19 Tests

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said that it will soon start coronavirus testing laboratories at select private hospitals and diagnostic centres in Mumbai a day after it roped in 10 private hospitals to set up isolation wards.

The decision was taken yesterday at a meeting between the hospitals and Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi, according to the minutes that were released today.

“The permission for JJ Hospital and Halfkins Laboratory is in process. Various private labs like SRL, HM Reliance Hospital, Reliance Life Sciences, Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, Thyrocare, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Lilavati Hospital are keen to start such laboratories. They were informed that they will have to procure necessary kits on their own which are as per the standards given by NIV (National Institute of Virology), Pune,” read the minutes.

As of now, there are two Covid-19 testing laboratories in Mumbai:

  • Kasturba Gandhi Hospital that conducts 150 tests per day—which will rise to 250 in a week.
  • KEM Hospital’s laboratory, which started operating today, and can conduct 150 daily tests.

The private hospitals and diagnostic centres that will conduct Covid-19 tests are as follows:

The municipal commissioner, according to the minutes, requested the private hospitals/laboratories to charge “the least possible amount” from patients referred to them by the BMC. “The private labs will carry out tests for persons referred by BMC to them,” it said. “Private labs will target the persons who are asymptomatic but have travel history or contact with a positive persons.”

New Isolation Building:

The minutes also said that Lilavati Hospital had expressed willingness to convert the vacant building of MCGM Maternity Home into an isolation facility where at least 30 beds can be made available, with the option to expand later. The entire facility will be prepared and maintained by Lilavati Hospital. The commissioner directed the corporation to hand over the building to Lilavati Hospital.

The commissioner also requested all the private hospitals to reduce their usual rates to 50 percent or Rs 4,000, whichever is less for the isolation bed. Medicines will be charged separately, it said.

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