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Telangana Reduces Covid-19 Testing After Spike in Cases, Tells Labs to Skip Asymptomatic Suspects

FILE PHOTO: A doctor uses an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of a child at his mobile health clinic, after his clinic and its adjoining areas were declared a micro-containment zone, after authorities eased lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Reuters)

The Telangana government has reportedly asked private labs to not take up requests from people without any symptoms to get tested.

  • Last Updated: July 1, 2020, 8:58 AM IST

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Telangana on Tuesday crossed the 16,000-mark by reporting 945 new COVID-19 positive cases. The state’s total total number of cases now stands at 16,339 and the fatalities at 260, after an addition of seven deaths in the last 24 hours.

Tuesday’s alarming spike comes amid state government’s decision to scale down testing after the results showed a high number of positive cases. The increase in testing had led to cases in the state tripling in a fortnight, said a report in The Indian Express. The government has now asked private labs not to entertain requests from people without any symptoms to get tested, the report added.

On May 27, the Telangana High Court had questioned the state government on why tests were not being conducted in high-risk zones and directed it to test all the deceased in government hospitals for Covid-19. After court’s directive, the authorities had declared that it would conduct 50,000 tests in 10 days.

The rapid testing led to an alarming increase in coronavirus cases. Out of the 945 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for 869, followed by 29 in Ranga Reddy district, a state government bulletin said.

Health Minister Etela Rajender told The Indian Express tests are being conducted every day on frontline workers such as medical staff and health and sanitation workers. “These groups are more exposed to the virus than anyone else so we are conducting tests among those groups. Hyderabad is a big, cosmopolitan city and like all other big cities, there is an increase in the number of cases,’’ he said.

A total of 1,712 people were discharged on Tuesday taking the total number of discharged to 7,294 so far, while 8,785 are under treatment, it said.

The bulletin said 3,457 samples were tested on Tuesday. Cumulatively, 88,563samples have been tested.

Rajender, who held a review meeting with senior officials, directed all medical colleges in the districts to make necessary arrangements to admit COVID-19 patients if needed so that pressure is eased on hospitals in Hyderabad.

With a large number of cases being reported from the GHMC limits the minister instructed officials to increase surveillance and said 11 sample collection centres have been set up there.

He said recruitment of medical and paramedical staff was going on for the state-run Gandhi Hospital and newly set up Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (TIMS).

Source: News18