“Test, test, test,” was the message that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had for the world on COVID-19 preparedness.
In a press conference today, 26 March, in Bangalore, the government announced that they will be conducting 25,000 to 35,000 tests.
“In two months we have tested 1,200 so far. Now, we want to scale up across the state and we aim to test 25,000 to 35000 samples for COVID-19.”
Would the government be capable enough to carry out these tests? Are there enough kits?
“We are in discussion with ICMR at this stage. With that confidence I'm saying within two weeks we will do 25,000 to 35000 tests, and we want to scale up across the state,” said the government.
There are already 3 private ICMR accredited testing labs in the state, with more in the pipeline.
How will they reach this lofty goal? “We aim to test 25% of all people who have travelled.” That is the target.
The government advises that “Anyone who has a recent travel history and shows symptoms within 15 days or if they are in contact with someone who has travelled or shown symptoms,” should come to these centres.
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Karnataka Govt Setting Up ‘Fever Clinics’ to Screen COVID-19 Patients
The government also announced the setting up of new fever clinics where testing for patients with fever symptoms could be conducted. This would act as the screening for COVID-19 tests.
Dr K Sudhakar, Minister for Medical Education“We are starting fever clinics in In 31 areas in Bangalore. They will be set up in urban health centres. This is the first line of scanning. We will differentiate between a normal flu and Covid symptoms.”
This will be a pilot project in Bangalore and will be expanded further in Karnataka.
From here, if the patient has any other COVID-19 symptoms or the fever is more serious, the samples can be sent for further screening at COVID-19 testing centres.
There are 47 government or public medical colleges and around 100-150 private ones that we have asked to set up isolation wards.
Every district has a Covid cell, Dr Sudhakar said.
“We are counselling all Covid positive patients.”
The government also said that the Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute in Bengaluru is to be made a COVID19 hospital. “All OPDs, casualty in the hospital to be closed down, and no patients except COVID19 to be admitted,” they said.
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