Nation Current Affairs 23 Apr 2021 Andhra Pradesh to fa ...

Andhra Pradesh to fast-track Covid tests to curb spread of virus

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Apr 23, 2021, 11:47 pm IST
Updated Apr 23, 2021, 11:47 pm IST
AP govt to resume the TrueNat tests and enhancing the RT-PCR tests to check the rapid rise in COVID-19 infection
State health authorities said they are making the necessary arrangements. TrueNat machines can be used for testing tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C etc and these will be programmed to conduct Covid-19 tests. (Photo: DC/Narasimha Murthy)
 State health authorities said they are making the necessary arrangements. TrueNat machines can be used for testing tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C etc and these will be programmed to conduct Covid-19 tests. (Photo: DC/Narasimha Murthy)

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh Government said on Friday that it will fast-track Covid-19 tests by resuming the TrueNat tests and enhancing the RT-PCR tests to check the rapid rise in Coronavirus infections.

State health authorities said they are making the necessary arrangements. TrueNat machines can be used for testing tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C etc and these will be programmed to conduct Covid-19 tests.

 

Details have been sought by the authorities from districts with regard to the number of machines available for Covid tests, how many of them can handle two or four swab samples at a time, the requirement of software for the tests and the availability of human resources like lab technicians to run three shifts a day.

During the first wave of the pandemic, lab technicians working in the state Aids control society and the revised national TB control programme as also those from the government were roped in for conducting the Covid tests on TrueNat machines. The same drill will be re-introduced now. Also, those working in the 104 Service would also be enlisted for the work.

 

Curiously, the state health authorities are availing the services of lab technicians working on contract basis in various wings of the government at meager wages even as they have to risk their health, while only a few lab technicians working with the government on a permanent basis are being involved for Covid tests.

It takes just an hour to get the Covid test report on a TrueNat machine.

Deputy chief minister and minister for health Alla Srinivasa confirmed the resumption of TrueNat tests by saying the state government was making all arrangements to conduct such tests in three days.

 

Nearly 10,000 Covid tests in TrueNat machines used to be done per day, he said, and felt the need to enhance the number of tests.

Similarly, the state government is also making efforts to enhance the number of RT-PCR tests in a day especially in all government medical colleges. The Dy CM said permission was given to recruit 113 technical personnel for conduct of RT-PCR tests. To conduct Covid tests in 14 VRDLs every day, recruitments will be made for posts of research scientist, research assistant, lab technician, data entry operator and office subordinates.

 

Maintaining that at present nearly 40,000 RT-PCR tests were being carried out in a day in the state, he said efforts were on to raise the tests to over 60,000 a day.

A health official said that there now was inordinate delay in getting reports of RT-PCR tests and this is resulting in the larger spread of the virus and there was also a stoppage of RT-PCR tests in some parts of the state as the swab samples were piling up at testing centres.

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