BMC Conducts Antigen Test of Over 100 Frontline Workers, Senior Citizens

Bhubaneswar: Continuing with its mission to boost its testing capacity, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday conducted rapid antigen tests of around 207 people, including many frontline workers such as essential services staff, health workers, police and others in the Capital City of Odisha.

The Civic Body has organized an antigen camp at the main Waiting Hall of Bhubaneswar Railway Station, where as many as 75 Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel were turned up for the test this morning. Fortunately, all of them tested negative with no serious health ailments.

The Rapid Response Team of South East Zone of BMC headed by Dr. Manjulata Dehury and Dr. Renurani Mohanta conducted the test with the help of BMC field staff.

Ansuman Rath, Zonal Deputy Commissioner, South East, Purandar Nanda, Deputy Commissioner, BMC and Officers on Special Duty to BMC, Debashish Sahoo and Swarup Nandan Behera were present to oversee the programme.

Expressing happiness and heaving a sigh of relief, GRP personnel thanked BMC for conducting such a health camp for them.

“We were worried a lot after one of our colleagues tested covid positive earlier, but after today’s test we are feeling very relaxed and confident. We are very grateful towards BMC for organizing such a health camp for us amid rising number of covid positive cases in the city,” said a relaxed Bikash Palai, a Sub-Inspector with GRP.

Similarly, the BMC has organized such a camp at Vivekananda Sikhyakendra in Sailashree Vihar, Ward No – 7 to conduct antigen tests of local vulnerable people and frontline workers. As many as 70 people, including some senior citizens were tested. And, two persons have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Likewise, the Civic Body has also conducted another such antigen testing camp at Baramunda Durga Puja Committee of Ward No – 50 for returnees and symptomatic people who came in contact with COVID positive cases. A total of 62 people, including senior citizens and frontline workers were tested at the camp, and seven out of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

On July 22, the BMC has started antigen testing, a quick Covid-19 diagnostic tool, to ramp up its testing rate, and so far over  900 people have been tested using this method in the Capital City.

What’s an antigen test?

Antigen tests detect the presence of a protein expressed by the coronavirus and can give the result in less than 30 minutes. The commonly used RT-PCR, or real-time polymerase chain reaction, test usually takes about five to six hours for a result.

On 14 June, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved rapid antigen tests to facilitate quick diagnosis. In its guidelines, the ICMR said symptomatic individuals who test negative by rapid antigen exams will have to mandatorily undergo a RT-PCR test to rule out a false negative.

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