BMC Asks Private Companies to Conduct Rapid Antigen Tests on Employees

BMC Asks Private Companies to Conduct Rapid Antigen Tests on Employees

The BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has asked private companies to conduct rapid antigen tests on their employees to make sure that possible COVID-19 infections are detected early. Each test is said to cost Rs 450 on the open market and can reportedly be purchased from BMC-approved companies.

“We are appealing to private offices to get their employee tested, which will reduce the worry of the senior management and also provide early treatment to those affected by the virus as antigen [test] helps detect the virus in a person within a few minutes,” Municipal Commissioner of the BMC, Iqbal Singh Chahal said.

Additionally, the BMC has also asked private hospitals to procure rapid antigen testing kits to ensure their staff or practically whoever walks into their premises can get tested within 15-30 minutes using the proposed Standard Q Covid-19 Ag test. 

Read Also - Coronavirus Testing Facility Improved In Mumbai Hospitals

This week, the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) approved this testing kit for use in all states, and the BMC followed suit. The BMC recently announced the procurement of 1 lakh of these antigen testing kits for rapid testing on suspected patients and contacts. 

Understandably, quick and mass testing is the only way to ensure a safe reopening of Mumbai. As the city begins to unlock in phases, these rapid antibody tests will be crucial in detecting asymptomatic patients. Several countries have already adopted similar testing measures to detect cases on a large scale. 

In May, Roche launched an antibody testing kit in the UK which has received approval for global use including by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration). 

It must be noted that an antigen test is said to be less sensitive than the standard RT-PCR test for COVID-19. While the antigen test can help detect if a person is coronavirus positive, a negative result via this method will still need a confirmatory test using the RT-PCR method.