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Ghaziabad completes three lakh tests, plans to test 6,000 daily in October

By Peeyush Khandelwal, Ghaziabad
PUBLISHED ON SEP 29, 2020 11:59 PM IST

The Ghaziabad district on Monday completed 300,00 Covid-19 since the first case was reported on March 5. Health department officials said that they have increased the daily testing to 5,000 and will scale it further to 6000 per day.

The district at present has a test positivity rate (TPR, or number of positive results per 100 tests) of about 4.6% according to official records.

Of the total 302,608 tests till September 28, almost 58% were done through rapid antigen kits, a less accurate but faster test than the “gold standard” molecular testing RT-PCR.

“The testing has gone above 300,000 and we are now planning to ramp up daily testing to 6000 and above. For the purpose, we have approved 20 new lab technicians for more extensive testing across the district,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.

The district is now testing 332 per million of population per day. The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recommendation is of 140 tests per million residents a day.

“We have 20 different testing centres in the district where anyone can walk in and get a test conducted free of cost. This is why we have about 90% of our testing conducted at our sampling centres. As per state government directions we will be taking up the testing to 6000 per day and we have started our efforts in this direction. Our teams conducted 5124 tests on Monday,” said Dr NK Gupta, chief medical officer.

“As per directions, we will now be focussing on conducting at least one-third of total tests with the help of RT-PCR method which is ‘gold standard’ and more reliable than the rapid antigen kit test,” he added.

With increased testing, the number of new cases coming in has also increased, crossing 14,000, according to state control room figures of September 29.

The district achieved 10000 cases on September 10 and thereafter, every subsequent lot of 1000 cases till September 29 have come in a gap of four to six days.

The experts said that with the increased testing, the district should now focus on conducting more tests in containment zones.

“The number of cases has seen a spike in the month of September. If the testing capabilities are growing, it would be advisable to conduct 100% testing in containment zones. This will largely help to find out suspected cases in vulnerable areas and also help in checking spread of infection,” said Dr VB Jindal, president of Indian Medical Association – Ghaziabad.

Overall, in the month of September, the Ghaziabad district conducted 105015 tests during the first 28 days which is the highest figure achieved in any month since March. During September, the average daily rate of testing is about 3750 tests conducted in 28 days.

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