COVID resurgence: Odisha to increase RT-PCR tests to over 10,000 a day

Bhubaneswar: In view of resurgence of COVID cases in some parts of the country, Odisha Government has decided to scale up RT-PCR tests to more than 10,000 a day.

In this regard, the Health & Family Welfare Additional Chief Secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra has written to all the district collectors, civic bodies and CDMOs.

As per decision, the RT-PCR tests will be increased and rapid antigen tests will continue as before.

Source said that only 20/25 per cent of the COVID samples are being tested in Odisha which is lower than other States in the country. There are a total of 26 RT-PCR laboratories in the State, including 10 private laboratories.

Of the 16 laboratories, while seven are in medical colleges, the facility is available in Angul, Puri, Balasore, Puri, Keonjhar, Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) to conduct RT-PCR testing. Despite the facility, the RT-PCR test could not be conducted upto 40% of the daily examinations in the State. In addition, samples were collected for RT-PCR in some districts, but the swab is not sent to the laboratories within a stipulated time. Therefore, the samples are sent to the RT-PCR laboratories on the day of the sample collection.

However, RT-PCR sample testing facility is not available in all parts of the State. Therefore, the healthcare workers have been asked to send the samples to the RMRC from the districts like Boudh, Jajpur, Sonepur, Puri and Nayagarh.

Similarly, the authorities have directed to send the samples to the SCB Medical College from the districts — Angul, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar and Sundargarh — for test.

The target has been set to conduct a maximum of 800 samples in the SCB Medical College, 600 in RMRC, 500 in Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and 700 in MKCG and IISER.

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