Covid-19 Pune: PMC procuring antigen test kits to prepare for second wave in winter

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is procuring Covid-19 antigen test kits to brace itself for the second wave of coronavirus infections in the winter season especially during December 2020 and January 2021. Although the number of Covid-19 cases have dipped significantly in the last few days, the civic body is not easing up.

The PMC has always preferred RT-PCR tests for suspected patients of Covid-19. RT-PCR testing helps the doctors and authorities get an actual number of patients who have active symptoms of Covid-19. Antigen testing reveals information about antibodies in the patients which means whether the patient has been already infected or recovered from the coronavirus infection.

It is predicted that a second wave or a spike in Covid-19 infection cases will be seen around December-January months in Pune city. Considering this possibility, the PMC has decided to procure antigen kits for Covid-testing. The PMC is expected to procure minimum 50 thousand to 1 lakh antigen kits. Each kit costs Rs 400 to the PMC and the kit can be stored in cool conditions.

The average daily count of Covid-patients in the city has come down to 250 to 300. As a result, the PMC has closed down eight Covid care centres. The contract period with private hospitals has also been reduced by three months. Even if the number of Covid-19 cases rise in the near future, the PMC hospitals, two jumbo dedicated Covid-hospitals and the Baner Covid hospital will be sufficient to meet the requirements of Pune city.

PMC Assistant Health Chief Dr Sanjeev Vavare told media persons that the number of tests conducted daily has reduced as people are not coming at the testing numbers.

PMC Health Chief Dr Ashish Bharati said the fresh cases and patients in serious conditions have reduced considerably. Even though the infection spread has been brought under control, we have to take steps in anticipation of a second wave in the coming months.

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