Some laboratories in Mumbai took as many as 18 days to deliver swab reports related to coronavirus cases, BMC Commissioner I S Chahal has said.
The senior IAS officer, who took over as commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last month, said after he joined the post, he found that swab reports of April 4 were delivered on April 22.
“Some labs were committing serious crime by submitting reports 18 days later. They deserved to be punished for late reporting,” Chahal told a TV channel on Monday.
The civic chief said he told such labs that inordinate delay in submitting reports of samples taken for coronavirus was not acceptable.
“I told them clearly that if you could not give me swab reports in 24 hours, you cannot function here in Mumbai.
I cannot accept your reports after 15 to 16 days…you don’t chew more than you digest,” Chahal said to a question.
“I could test around 3,600 (per day) in Mumbai after testing guidelines were issued by the ICMR. Due to the guidelines of carrying out tests of only symptomatic patients, the total figure of testing came down,” he said.
Chahal said the civic body is going beyond the testing norms issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
“We have 2,500 hospitals in Mumbai. Every hospital has now been authorised to go ahead with testing. We even allowed people to let swabs be collected from their homes, which is outside the guidelines of the ICMR,” the commissioner added.
Till Monday, Mumbai reported 49,863 COVID-19 cases, including 1,700 deaths.