‘Is it a crime to test?’: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw slams ICMR for ‘not permitting’ asymptomatic testing

Founder and Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has slammed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for ‘not permitting’ asymptomatic testing in large numbers. Shaw added that every individual had a right to know whether they were positive or negative for coronavirus.

Shaw said asymptomatic testing has to be freed up. And hospitals have to manage patients in a triage way so that they don’t get overwhelmed.

The biotechnology industry veteran also said it was obvious that when the economy will fully be opened up, there will be an increase in coronavirus cases due to the country’s gigantic population.

“Some of them might be positive, some of them might be carriers, some of them might be supercarriers. How do I know? Why are they (ICMR) preventing us from testing? I don’t understand. Everywhere in the world, they are allowing testing,” Shaw said.

The 67-year-old business tycoon further expressed her anger saying that governments were acting like testing was a crime. “Is it a crime to test? it’s not because, as an individual, I would like to know whether I am positive or negative even if I am asymptomatic,” Shaw said.

According to Shaw, if patients have mild symptoms, they should be given treatment in quarantine centres where their health can be monitored. Only people with complaints of breathlessness and oxygen needs should go to hospitals.

Shaw also stressed on the need for testing people based on their risk profile. A person’s risk profile map can be easily worked out by knowing how often the individual uses public transport, the frequency of his travel for work, number of people at the workplace, and if he or she is diabetic and has hypertension, among other factors.

Public workers, particularly bus drivers and conductors and delivery service personnel, should be tested as they come in touch with people so much, Shaw added.

India, on Saturday, reported 5 lakh cases of coronavirus. Since June 2, India logged more than 3 lakh coronavirus cases in 26 days. However, India’s recovery rate is higher than the active number of cases. According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the country’s total number of active cases are at 1,97,385, whereas tally of cured/discharged patients stands at 2,95,880.

Source: Business Today

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