Mumbai Residents Can Now Get Tested for Covid19 Without a Doctor’s Prescription
Last night, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that a doctor’s prescription, which was mandatory earlier, will no longer be required to get tested for Covid19 in Mumbai.
The BMC circular states, “…laboratories are free to conduct tests for any individual, in accordance with the ICMR guidelines. However, no prescription, or self-declaration, is required for Covid19 testing of symptomatic, or asymptomatic individuals.” This change in policy will help patients get timely treatment, which is crucial for early recovery.
Until now, limited testing had severely hampered experts in determining the extent of spread of the novel coronavirus in India. This decision will make it easier to understand the degree of community transmission.
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Last month, the BMC had also slashed the costs for Covid19 testing to make it more affordable. Prior to that, getting a sample tested in a laboratory cost INR 4,500, while getting a swab collected from home cost INR 5,200. But, these prices were revised to INR 2,200 and INR 2,800, respectively.
Also, in order to drive home the importance of analyzing the test samples in a timely manner, the BMC circular has added that creation of even a single day of backlog by the laboratories could make them liable for strict action, including cancellation of their licenses.