CS calls for doubling of daily COVID tests

Wants steps to ensure that testing centres function on all days

The State government has directed the Health department and district collectors to ramp up COVID-19 testing and vaccination in light of reports that the second wave of the coronavirus is intensifying.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar directed the collectors to double the number of tests conducted on a daily basis and identify as many positive cases as possible. Early identification and isolation of positive cases would help control the spread of virus and also ensure early treatment to reduce the possibility of the cases taking a serious turn.

The Chief Secretary gave a series of instructions to the collectors during a video conference that lasted over two hours, to review the measures taken for management of COVID-19 pandemic in the State. The collectors were given directions covering the entire scope of COVID management including testing, tracing, treatment, vaccination and enforcement of COVID-appropriate behaviour.

The Chief Secretary conducted the video conference from home. Incidentally, he has been diagnosed with the infection after he underwent tests following complaints of uneasiness. The collectors were asked to take steps to ensure that the pace of testing did not come down on weekends and holidays. They should take steps to see that the testing centres functioned on all days of the week, Mr Somesh Kumar said.

The new testing app should be deployed for effectively tracing the contacts of positive cases so that they too could be tested. Steps should be taken to ensure that all symptomatic persons found negative in the rapid antigen tests were subjected to RT-PCR tests, he directed.

Mr. Somesh Kumar stressed the need for ensuring on-the-spot assessment and counselling for all COVID-positive persons at the testing location itself. Focus should be on handing over kit of essential medicines to persons found fit for home isolation while steps should be taken to monitor persons in home isolation through home visits/tele-calling.

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