- The Bhubhaneshwar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reduced the coronavirus test kits to half that is used every day in primary and community healthcare centers.
THD NewsDesk, BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubhaneshwar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reduced the coronavirus test kits to half that is used every day in primary and community healthcare centers. Instead, it is the civic body’s mobile testing facility that has emerged as the most sought-after option for people looking to get tested. The mobile testing van is now also serving the residents who don’t want to get tested at a health center. However, the testing van was initially meant for disabled persons, senior citizens, pregnant women, and children. . The mobile testing facility, introduced in August, could not earlier offer this service to the common people because of the high number of cases being reported and the consequent rush for testing.
A BMC official said the testing van had tested 2,400 people by October. Till December 15, more than 6,000 people have availed themselves of the facility.
“Since the mobile facility offers the RT-PCR test, which is considered more accurate than the rapid antigen test, it is very much in demand. All people need to do is to make a call to the control room and furnish their details, including address, time of collecting the swab, and mobile number. It has to be booked a day in advance,” said a BMC officer.
One of the reasons why people are now preferring the doorstep testing service is the perception that social distancing would be compromised at the primary and community health centers. “Since the mobile testing facility is there, it is better to avail ourselves of it as there is no risk involved in giving a swab sample at home. If you have four members in your family, all of them can give their samples at one go. Multiple members of a family going to testing centers is fraught with risk,” said a resident of Nayapalli.
“When I developed flu-like symptoms in September, I called a man from a private laboratory to collect the swab sample as the mobile van was then not available for us. In November, after my wife developed symptoms, the testing van came to our home,” said the resident.
The total number of tests conducted in the city — including RT-PCR, rapid antigen, and TrueNat — has gone up to 4.37 lakh. The city on Sunday reported 30 new cases, taking the case count to 31,370. With 232 deaths and 30,749 recoveries, it has 368 active cases.