Odisha plans one lakh tests per day as Covid-19 cases cross 50k mark

Updated on Aug 12, 2020 11:20 PM IST

The Covid-19 tally in Odisha rose to 50,672 on Wednesday with the highest single-day surge of 1,876 cases.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Covid-19 tests would be scaled up substantially in the state.(ANI)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Covid-19 tests would be scaled up substantially in the state.(ANI)
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty| Edited by Sabir Hussain

As Covid-19 tally in Odisha crossed the 50,000-mark and death toll mounted to 305, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said on Wednesday that the state government would increase testing in the coming weeks.

Reviewing the pandemic situation in the state on a day when the Covid-19 tally rose to 50,672 with the highest single-day surge of 1,876 cases, Patnaik asked the district collectors to increase testing at sub-divisional hospitals and community health centres. Similarly, Block Development Officers and officials of panchayati raj institutions have been asked to motivate people to voluntarily come forward for testing.

Director of Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, Dr Ajay Parida said the state would now start testing about one lakh samples a day. In the last 24 hours, Odisha tested 32,053 samples of which 23,000 samples were tested through rapid antigen method and 8,000 through RT-PCR method. Currently, the state has the capacity to conduct 8,000-10,000 RT-PCR tests per day.

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“Now more emphasis is being laid on rapid antigen tests because you can know the result at the point of care whether one is positive or negative within 4-5 hours. Antigen kits are now available with district hospitals and municipalities. The advantage with rapid antigen kits is that a large number of people can be screened and positive cases can be identified and segregated,” he said.

The chief minister said Odisha is one of the few states in the country which is providing universal care for Covid-19 patients completely free of cost. “From testing to treatment to food, transport, accommodation, everything is provided free of cost, and the objective is that because of financial problems nobody should suffer without getting treatment in Odisha,” Patnaik said.

The chief minister said those Covid positive patients who will be staying in home isolation, would be provided a kit containing dos and don’ts, few basic medicines and a list of telephone numbers of doctors, counsellors/ tele-medicine professionals and government officials.

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