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BMC Now Recommends COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Contacts

Additional Municipal Commissioner of the BMC, Suresh Kakani confirmed the change in policy and mentioned that a circular will be issued soon

BMC Now Recommends COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Contacts
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In what has come as good news within the medical fraternity, the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has reversed course on its testing protocol to now recommend testing for all contacts of a positive patient, even those who are asymptomatic. 

Previously, the BMC stated that “all symptomatic contacts of confirmed cases” would be tested, leading to quite a bit of panic and anxiety among contacts of positive patients that aren’t showing any symptoms. Additionally, since most of these contacts would be under home or institutional quarantine, getting tested on their own wasn’t an option either.

The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has consistently maintained that testing should be done at least once for asymptomatic contacts between Day 5 and Day 10 of the home quarantine or isolation. 

Read - Vashi Hospital To Conduct COVID-19 Testing Using TrueNat

Additional Municipal Commissioner of the BMC, Suresh Kakani confirmed the change in policy and mentioned that a circular will be issued soon. “We are focussing on high-risk contacts who are under home quarantine. We relaxed norms. They will not need a doctor's prescription to get tested. They can provide a self-declaration letter to labs and get the test done,” Kakani said.

The BMC’s move to only test symptomatic contacts came under fire from almost all corners of the medical community. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the civic body is not in a position to conduct antibody tests in the required quantities. This makes it hard to ascertain the number of people who have recovered from the virus without showing any symptoms. 

Antibody tests look for coronavirus antibodies in your blood, which helps determine if your body has successfully fought off the virus. Currently, a large number of testing is done using the RT-PCR method which detects the presence of coronavirus in your body by analyzing nasal and throat swabs.

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