The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will begin collecting swab samples from tomorrow for Covid-19 rapid tests while it was also decided that swab sample collection centres will be set up in all the 16 boroughs of the civic body.

The civic body will kick-start its rapid tests tomorrow using a new kit provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The KMC Board member in charge of health, Atin Ghosh said, “ We have been provided with a new sort of testing kit where swab samples of eight persons can be collected at a time and tested but every person will get an individual report. The results of these rapid tests will arrive at a much shorter time than compared to what it generally takes in the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) testing. Test results can now be obtained within 30 to 40 minutes from the time of the test.”

He, however, pointed out that KMC, at the same time, is also simultaneously carrying out the RTPCR tests alongside rapid tests. Mr Ghosh said this is the first time rapid tests are being conducted in Kolkata and this will help in identifying the number of infected in a very short time.

It was learnt that testing will begin at ward 82 in Chetla, tomorrow. The KMC Board chairman Firhad Hakim has said that these tests will help KMC identify the “super-spreaders” which he explains are people who are potential spreaders of the virus but are asymptomatic themselves. The chairman said this will help in identifying whether chances of spread is more in the markets, or in public transportation etc.

At the same time, to conduct these tests, the KMC is setting up swab collection centres in all the boroughs of KMC. It was learnt that 50 persons will be tested on a daily basis in these centres.

It was also learnt that a swab collection centre will be setup in the ground floor of Roxy cinema hall, at Esplanade, where swab samples of KMC workers will be collected starting Friday, from 10 am to 12 pm. Firhad Hakim said all KMC workers and their families will be administered the homeopathy medicine Arsenicum Album -30, as a preventive measure. It is learnt that this was decided after many KMC workers have contracted the virus.

Mr Hakim also informed that KMC officials will visit residences of citizens with oxymeters that will help check whether their oxygen supply is stable which accordingly will reveal whether there are any symptoms of Covid-19 which trigger difficulties in breathing