Kits to conduct 4,000 tests for COVID-19 reach Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Amid spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government has procured a substantial number of test kits and other materials as part of its measures to ensure speedy detection of coronavirus infections in the state, official sources said on Friday.

Kits for conducting at least 4,000 tests, reagents and virus transportation mediums (VTMs) were airlifted from Mumbai on Thursday as the government stepped up its drive to enhance COVID-19 testing facilities in the state, an official said.

The kits will give a considerable boost to the states preparedness to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, he said.

“#COVID 19 test kits for 4,000 tests, reagents & VTMs were airlifted from Mumbai through special air cargo. It will strengthen #Odisha Governments efforts to ramp up the #coronavirus testing facilities in the state, the health department tweeted.

The arrival of the kits was significant as Odisha is now all set to start coronavirus testing at three more locations in addition to the four existing test facilities in the state, he said.

The aim is to put in place adequate capacities soon to conduct at least 1,000 tests for COVID-19 daily, the senior official said.

The state government has also decided to start tests for COVID-19 at MKCG Medical College Hospital in Berhampur from April 12, at VIMSAR in Burla from April 15 and at IGH in Rourkela from April 17.

The tests are now being conducted in RMRC, AIIMS and Institute of Life Sciences (ILC) in Bhubaneswar and SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, the official said.

The three new testing facilities will ensure speedy detection in western and southern parts of the state, he said.

The fresh kits were received barely two days after 3,500 kg of medical equipment from ICMR was airlifted by an Indian Air Force aircraft from Tambaram for the establishment of medical labs and other facilities in the state.

Besides, the state government is all set to purchase ICMR recognised COVID-19 rapid testing kits.

One lakh rapid testing kits will be purchased soon so that more COVID-19 tests can be conducted, the official said.

The Odisha government, which has extended the lockdown till April 30 to curb the spread of COVID-19, also aims at setting up around 34 dedicated hospitals exclusively for COVID-19 patients with over 6,000 beds, he said.

So far several COVID-19 hospitals with a capacity of around 1,600 beds have been made operational in the state. The focus at present is on ensuring adequate stock of masks, particularly special N-95 masks, personnel protection equipment (PPE) and testing kits, he said, adding that the state has sufficient stock to meet the requirements.

To meet the manpower requirements, the state government has trained 1,500 persons, including MBBS students, postgraduate students, serving doctors and master trainers, for district hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the official said.

It has also been decided to engage 1,620 AYUSH personnel, including doctors, postgraduates and undergraduate students, for combating COVID-19 and its management in the state, he said.

Similarly, 360 districts and 2,264 block-level master trainers have been trained to handle COVID-19 patients.

To meet the expenses required for preventive measures against COVID-19 and treatment of patients, the Odisha government on Thursday increased the corpus of its contingency fund five times from Rs 400 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.

Odisha has so far reported 48 COVID-19 cases.

The disease has claimed one life so far, while two others have been cured and discharged.


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