Pune: The State Department of Public Health has ordered 13 districts, including Akola, Buldhana, Bhandara and Gadchiroli, to step up testing after finding they collected fewer than 5,000 samples during the week of December 13-19. A state health official said testing should only be stepped up in the context of the Center’s directive to all states and districts to increase surveillance.
“Districts have received funds to increase their laboratory infrastructure and there is no reason for them to test less,” he said. All 13 districts behind in testing were ordered to lift it in one meeting. “Below 5,000 weekly tests are not acceptable. This needs to improve,” the official said. Some local authorities have said they are not reporting too many cases of Covid. But the Center has asked districts to conduct door-to-door searches and testing of all SARI / ILI and vulnerable / comorbid people, as well as to ensure that the correct proportion of RT PCR tests are performed daily. and with full traceability of all positive people. .to Covid. A total of 7.6 lakh tests were performed in the state last week.
Experts stressed that no laxity should be shown in testing, especially in the wake of the Omicron variant. Authorities said the contacts of an infected person should be tested immediately. Former state medical director Dr. PP Doke said the Omicron was known to spread more but may be less virulent. “No district can make it easy for itself with testing. Some people don’t even come close to the testing labs. There should be adequate surveillance, especially since it is now the winter season,” he told TOI. Doke said the testing rules could change if cases eventually escalate. “For now, only international passengers are tested. There is no community dissemination yet, but we cannot be lax,” he said, highlighting the increase in vaccination.
The Center has issued specific guidelines for the assertion amid the “first signs of an increase” in Covid19 cases and an increase in detection of the disturbing variant (VoC), Omicron, in different parts of the country.