COVID lab in Navi Mumbai from Saturday

CM, NMMC respond to NatConnect Foundation plea

By B N Kumar

NAVI MUMBAI: The City will finally have its own COVID laboratory.

The lab will function from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) hospital at Nerul from August 2 and will have a capacity to handle 500 tests per day, civic body commissioner Abhijit Bangar told Awaaz Today news channel.

The capacity could be doubled if the lab functions 24x7.

NMMC is awaiting the ICMR clearance which is expected any time now.

The State government and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) earlier responded to pleas from across the society, including NGO NatConnect Foundation.

 “It is matter of shame that Navi Mumbai which is touted as the City of the 21st Century and does not have a government pathological lab to diagnose COVID cases,” NatConnect Foundation said in its plea to CM. Most patients are forced to go to private labs some of whose performance is doubtful since BMC has already banned some them from testing.

The CMO said in its response to NatConnect that  the public health department has been asked to look into the complaint.

NatConnect has also drawn the attention of newly appointed NMMC Commissioner to this issue. Bangar immediately asked his health and COVID cell officials to take it forward. In fact, he addressed the topic at his very first press conference and promised action while announcing antigen test centres.

Currently, the swabs collected by NMMC, Panvel Municipal Corporation and Uran Municipal Council for COVID are being sent to Mumbai and the people are forced to wait under tension for about a week for the result.