Bhubaneswar: To speed up the COVID-19 testing in the state, RT-PCR labs will be set up in all districts by August 15, informed Director of Public Health Niranjan Mishra here today.
Speaking to mediapersons, the official informed that currently, 14 districts have RT-PCR laboratories and steps are afoot to open the labs in rest 16 districts: Bhadrak, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Sonepur, Kandhamal, Sundergarh, Rayagada and Bargarh. Tenders have already been floated for the purpose, he added.
“Besides, we are setting up our own genome sequence facility that will quickly detect the virus mutation. This will help us tackle the impending third wave. All Sentinel surveillance sites and laboratories have been asked to send around 10 per cent samples of the total positive cases to Institute of Life Science (ILS). RT-PCR labs in all districts will function from August 15,” he stated.
On possible third wave, Mishra said “as it is being predicted that children will be mostly infected in the third wave, we have kept 3,000 hospital beds ready. All necessary steps are being taken to tackle any kind of eventuality. Training is being given to doctors, nurses and health workers for treatment of children. Drive to sensitize public about the possible third wave has also begun.”
Regarding COVID situation in the state, he stated, “If we see the overall graph, the infection rate has definitely dropped. Number of cases has declined significantly in districts that reported maximum number of positive cases earlier. The situation not concerning anymore.”