Pune: Weekly RT-PCR test diktat for firms comes under fire | Pune News – Times of India


PUNE: Friday’s order by collector Rajesh Deshmukh, mandating weekly RT-PCR tests for on-site employees of all industrial and commercial establishments, has drawn sharp criticism.
State industries department officials said the order applies to all employees physically present at factories and offices. Industries and service units said this would be difficult and expensive to implement, especially given the weak testing infrastructure in industrial areas. According to experts, even accounting for the high percentage (95%) of IT employees working from home, conducting weekly tests would entail a total cost of around Rs70-80 crore. There are around15 lakh employees on the rolls of manufacturing and IT units in the district.
“This does not seem practical as each test costs around Rs 800. Besides, there are not many test centres in industrial areas, and the few that are operational would be overwhelmed,” Charanjeet Singh Bhogal, COO of Hinjewadi Industries Association, said.
“If they want to make it mandatory, the authorities should bear the responsibility and cost of testing. This could cost companies crores and may force them to fold,” Dilip Batval, secretary of Federation of Chakan Industries, said.
“We will write to the authorities about this issue and urge our members to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour,” Prashant Girbane, director-general of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (MCCIA), said.
Deshmukh told TOI they would work out a solution, “be it testing only symptomatic employees or allowing rapid antigen tests”.

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