Hyderabad: The number of COVID-19 cases crossed the 12,000 mark on Friday after Telangana registered a new record of 985 cases. The tally now stands at 12,349, Friday’s health bulletin showed. Of the new cases, 774 came from the Greater Hyderabad area.
Seven more deaths were reported during the day, taking the toll to 237.
Telangana’s coronavirus numbers have been galloping after the state government announced a burst of targeted testing in and around the state capital in mid-June. Daily additions of active cases have spurted since then from the few hundreds to several hundreds. Even then Telangana’s testing rate, 2023 per million population, lags behind other states where far greater corona numbers have been reported.
The latest narrative in the Telangana COVID-19 story is the spread of the virus among frontline workers. Eleven personnel from the Telangana State Special Police tested positive on Friday. All of them were asymptomatic and have been quarantined. They were working in a battalion in the city and assisting the police in dealing with the pandemic.
Other frontline professionals among whom the virus is spreading fast are medics, bankers and municipal staff.
Although Telangana threw open testing to more private labs in recent weeks, it found fault with their procedures. Friday’s health bulletin said an inspection of COVID-19 testing by 16 private labs showed several shortcomings on the part of the labs.
The inspection was undertaken after a lot of discrepancies were reported in data uploaded by the private labs on June 24, according to the bulletin.
The major flaws observed in some of the labs include lack of safety measures like staff not wearing PPE, improper training of staff conducting tests and measures for Quality Control and Validation of Tests not being followed in some of the labs.
"Committee (which examined the inspection reports) also expressed (view) that there is suspicion in some labs of pooled testing being done, when all cases are reported as positive without doing individual testing leading to some negative cases also being shown as positive.
It will be studied by experts using the amplification plots generated by RTPCR machine," the bulletin said.
It is also suspected that there is possibility of contamination of samples leading to high positivity rate because safety measures and protocols are not followed meticulously, it said.
In addition, disparity in numbers uploaded by the labs in the data entry made into ICMR and state portals has also been seen. The expert committee will conduct further inspection to study the problem in detail, it added....