Maharashtra to conduct rapid coronavirus tests for early detection

Mumbai: The Centre has allowed Maharashtra to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests to expedite the detection of coronavirus cases, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday.

The state government will use blood samples instead of swabs in rapid tests for coronavirus detection, Tope said.

Talking to reporters after Prime Minister Modi held a video conference with all chief ministers to discuss ways to check the spread of coronavirus, Tope also said that around 3.25 lakh migrant laborers are in state-run shelters across Maharashtra.

Besides Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the video conference was also attended by Tope and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

“The prime minister has informed us that the state can now carry out rapid tests for early detection of coronavirus cases. We will be using blood samples for the early detection of COVID-19 infection,” Tope said.

Modi also asked the Maharashtra government to take care of migrant workers in the state in view of the lockdown.

“There are some 3.25 lakh migrant labourers in various state-run facilities. Modiji asked us to not only take care of their food, but to also provide them television so that they can have some entertainment and do not leave the shelter homes,” the health minister said.

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