X-ray mobile vans in the city, screening in housing societies

  • | Tuesday | 28th July, 2020

With residential complexes reporting a sudden surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks, the civic body, in a bid to diagnose more patients from housing societies, has decided to screen residents using X-ray machines.

With residential complexes reporting a sudden surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks, the civic body, in a bid to diagnose more patients from housing societies, has decided to screen residents using X-ray machines.

For the purpose, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has procured 10 X-ray mobile vans to detect abnormalities in the chest, owing to the presence of Sars-Cov-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.

The X-ray machines in the vans will be synced for analysis with the radiology department of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, Parel.

“When a person gets screened with an X-ray machine, the X-ray plates will automatically get synced with the radiology department of KEM Hospital. So, there is no need to manually take the reports to the hospital. Doctors from the hospital can easily access all the reports of the patients across the city,” said Ranjit Dhakane, deputy municipal commissioner, BMC.

If an X-ray report raises suspicion among doctors, the resident will be tested either through rapid antigen test or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

The 10 vans will visit housing societies that have witnessed the highest number of Covid-19 cases.

In May, the civic body had installed 10 such X-ray machines at jumbo centres to detect high-risk contacts of Covid-19 patients as well as and asymptomatic patients.

“We have received quite a success in identifying patients with the pathogen of coronavirus at Covid-19 jumbo centres and slums. Now, we will use the same technique for residential areas in containment zones,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner, BMC.

According to doctors, Sars-Cov-2 affects the lungs of patients. Hence, X-rays may help in identifying the virus earlier. The radiological screening of lungs helps in distinguishing Sars-Cov-2 from other respiratory infections.

“These scans help in identifying small patchy, translucent white areas in lungs that we call ‘ground glass opacities’ or GGOs. It forms cotton-like white spots in lungs,” said Dr Natasha Nanda, a radiologist from Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital.

China, where the virus first broke out and spread to the rest of the world, first started using X-ray as a way to screen suspected individuals and installed the machines in all the fever clinics in the country.



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