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High-tech testing centre for Mumbai

The rush to get tested for swine flu has put a huge burden on National Institute of Virology, Pune, and Haffkine Institute, Parel.

india Updated: Aug 13, 2009 01:31 IST
Bhavika Jain

The rush to get tested for swine flu has put a huge burden on National Institute of Virology, Pune, and Haffkine Institute, Parel.

Recognising this, the civic standing committee on Wednesday passed a proposal mooted by Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar to set up a similar testing facility at Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli.

“While we have 12 screening centres, there is a bottleneck when throat swabs are sent for testing,” Mhaiskar said.

A senior civic official said setting up the laboratory might include a long process involving bids to build it.

The committee also okayed the acquisition of N95 masks, viral transport media (VTM) and swab sticks as the city is running out of them fast.

VTM are chemicals required for the transport of delicate medical samples — like throat swabs — to laboratories.

While N95 masks are scarce, there are only 1,000 VTM units left.