Panicky Nagpurians mob NMC centres for RTPCR test

Nagpur: Panicky Nagpurians virtually mobbed the NMC centres as the stalled RTPCR tests resumed on Thursday after a gap of three days. The civic body’s centres across the city witnessed heavy rush of people who wanted to undergo tests for confirmation of the dreaded Covid-19. The three-day break in RTPCR test left the people uneasy and they flocked the NMC centres in hundreds when the test resumed.

Until Thursday, the centres were only performing Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) as the four public labs were clearing backlog. But all were not lucky as scores of citizens were turned back from centres as the number of tests reached its threshold. This created a chaotic situation with tempers getting frayed among citizens waiting outside these centres. In a bid to clear the rush, some centres made doctor’s prescription or positive report of a close contact mandatory.

According to NMC sources, the number of genuine citizens was much more than their day’s capacity and there is an urgent need to work in double shifts and increase manpower. Some officials said they received calls from patients whose treatment couldn’t start due to lack of RTPCR tests. At the RPTS testing centre, many had queued up from 5 am to ensure they were among the day’s first 300.

Though the three-day break led to clearing of the backlog, the citizens would still need to wait for a day to get the report from all labs except, CSIR-NEERI. Samples from RTPS centre are processed at NEERI lab and the results are given the same day. At PWD quarters in Raj Nagar, the queue extended onto the road. The centre had put up a pandal for citizens but many had to stand as no chairs were provided.